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FM 7-20 

This manual supersedes FM 7-20, Rifle Battalion, 28 September 1942, 
including CI, 27 March 1943. 



United States Government Printing Office 
Washington : 1944 

Washington, 1 October 1944. 
FM 7-20, Infantry Battalion, is published for the informa- 
tion and guidance of all concerned. 
[A.G. 300.7 (25 July 44).] 
By order of the Secretary of War: 


Chief of Staff. 


J. A. ULIO, 

Major General, 

The Adjutant General. 

Distribution : 

As prescribed in Par. 9a, FM 21-6 except Inf Sch (12,500), 
D 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 17, 18, 44(3) ; Def Comds (3) ; Sectors (3) ; 
Subsectors (3); Base Comds (3); Island Comds (3); Base 
Sectors (3); HD (3); B 1, 2, 4-7, 17, 18, 44(3); R 1-7, 17, 
18, 44(3); Bn 2-6, 17-19, 44(10), 7(25). Bns will distribute 
to IC. 

(For explanation of symbols, see FM 21-6.) 



Paragraphs Page 

CHAPTER 1. General 1-2 1 

CHAPTER 2. Battalion commander and staff. 

Section I. Battalion commander 3-6 5 

II. Battalion staff and staff 

duties 7-23 6 

III. Troop leading 24-29 17 

IV. Staff records, reports, and 

maps 30-36 22 

V. Command post 37-45 24 

CHAPTER S. Battalion headquarters company. 

Section I. Company headquarters 46-51 29 

II. Battalion headquarters 

section 52 32 

III. Communication platoon 53-57 32 

IV. Ammunition and pioneer 

platoon 58-61 36 

V. Antitank platoon 62-68 38 

VI. Security 69-73 41 

CHAPTER 4. Battalion medical section 74-81 44 

CHAPTER 5. Administration. 

Section I. Battalion trains 82-84 47 

II. Supply 85-95 47 

CHAPTER 6. Troop movements and security 
on the march. 

Section I. General 96 60 

II. Day marches 97-103 60 

III. Night marches 104 70 

IV. Motor and rail movements .... 105-106 71 

CHAPTER 7. Bivouacs. 107-111 75 

CHAPTER 8. The offensive. 

Section I. General 112 81 

II. Approach march 113-125 81 

III. Assembly areas (positions) 126-129 93 

IV. Types and methods of attack 130-132 96 

V. Reconnaissance, plans, and 

orders for an attack 
against an organized 

position 133-140 100 

VI. Conduct of the attack 141-148 116 


CONTENTS (Continued) 

Paragraphs Page 

VII. Reserve battalion 149-154 132 

VIII. Night attack 155-159 135 

IX. Attack in woods 160-163 151 

X. Jungle warfare 164-168 156 

XI. Attack of towns 169-172 158 

XII. Attack of a river line 173-189 162 

XIII. Attack of a fortified 

position 190-194 175 

XIV. Raids 195-199 179 

XV. Beachheads 200-205 185 

CHAPTER 9. The defense. 

Section I. General 206-208 189 

II. Front-line battalion 209-226 190 

III. Reserve battalion 227-233 226 

IV. Defense on a wide front, 

in woods, in towns, and 

of a river line 234-238 231 

V. Defense against air-borne 

operations 239-241 238 

CHAPTER 10. Retrograde movements. 

Section I. General 242 242 

II. Daylight withdrawal 243-247 242 

III. Night withdrawal 248-255 247 

IV. Delaying action 256-261 252 


This manual supersedes FM 7-20, Rifle Battalion, 28 September 1942, 
including CI, 27 March 1943. 

Chapter 1 

talion is the basic tactical unit of Infantry. It usually 
operates as an element of the infantry regiment. Its mission 
is assigned by the regimental commander, and its actions are 
coordinated with those of other units of the regiment. Excep- 
tionally, the battalion may be detached from the regiment 
to perform an independent mission. It has administrative 

2. COMPOSITION. The battalion consists of a headquarters 
and headquarters company, three rifle companies, and a heavy 
weapons company. Medical personnel and nonorganic trans- 
portation are attached. (See fig. 1.) 

a. Battalion headquarters and headquarters company. (1) 
The headquarters consists of the battalion commander (a 
lieutenant colonel) and certain members of his staff. 

(2) The headquarters company consists of company head- 
quarters; a battalion headquarters section; a communication 
platoon; an ammunition and pioneer platoon; and an anti- 
tank platoon. 

(3) See figure 2 and Table of Organization and Equip- 
ment No. 7-16. 

6. Rifle company. Each rifle company consists of a com- 
pany headquarters, three rifle platoons, and a weapons pla- 
toon. (See T/O and E 7-17.) 

c. Heavy weapons company. The heavy weapons company 
consists of a company headquarters, two caliber .30 (heavy) 
machine-gun platoons, and an 81-mm mortar platoon. (See 
T/O and E 7-18.) 

d. Attachments. For operations, the battalion section from 
the regimental medical detachment joins its battalion. (See 
FM 7-30 and T/O and E 7-11.) 

NOTE : For definition of military terms not defined in this manual, 
see TM 20-205. 



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e. Motor transport. (1) Organic motor transport of the 
infantry battalion consists only of the company transport 
of its component elements. (See PM 7-30 and Tables of Or- 
ganization and Equipment.) 

(2) The battalion trains are an integral part of the regi- 
mental trains. They include kitchen and baggage, ammuni- 
tion, and maintenance vehicles organically assigned to the 
service company, and medical vehicles organically assigned 
to the medical detachment. In operations, and when the bat- 
talion supply echelon is operative, the battalion section of 
the service company transportation platoon (regimental 
trains) joins its battalion, except for those elements which 
may be retained under regimental control. 



Chapter 2 


Section I 

3. GENERAL, a. Aggressiveness and the ability to take 
prompt and decisive action are prime requisites for a success- 
ful battalion commander. By these qualities he inspires con- 
fidence. By his boldness, energy, and initiative he influences 
both individual and collective conduct and performance. For 
principles of command and leadership, see PM 100-5. 

6. The battalion commander is responsible to the regimen- 
tal commander for the condition and operations of the bat- 
talion. He meets this responsibility by anticipation; by timely 
decisions, plans, and orders; and by supervision of execution. 

c. In preparation for combat, the mission of the battalion 
commander is to bring his unit to a high state of combat 
proficiency. He subordinates administration to training. He 
encourages initiative, ingenuity, and aggressiveness among 
his company officers. Having indicated his policies and given 
his orders, he allows his subordinates maximum freedom 
of action in order to foster self-reliance and initiative. He 
supervises the carrying out of his orders. 

d. The battalion commander must make his authority felt 
by each individual of his battalion. He exercises his authority 
by means of instructions, orders, inspections, and personal 

4. RELATIONS WITH STAFF. The battalion commander 
makes all major decisions for the operation of the battalion. 
He is provided with a staff to relieve him of details, to act as 
his agents, to prepare detailed orders, and to assist in super- 
vising the execution of these orders. He must make full use 
of his staff in order that he may devote himself to his more 
important command duties. 



AND TROOPS. The battalion commander deals with his 
subordinate units primarily through their commanders. He 
must not interfere with the command responsibilities of the 
latter, except in emergencies. He makes inspections and in- 
formal visits to his units during which he talks to individuals 
and to groups. In combat, such visits promote confidence, 
respect, and loyalty. They give the commander first-hand 
knowledge of the tactical situation and of the needs and 
capabilities of his units. 

UNITS. When field artillery (usually a battalion of 105- 
mm howitzers) is placed in direct support of an infantry 
regiment, an artillery liaison officer, assisted by a liaison 
section, is sent by the artillery battalion commander to re- 
main with each supported battalion. The liaison officer acts 
as artillery adviser and assists the infantry battalion com- 
mander in obtaining supporting fires. (See par. 21.) Ele- 
ments of other units, such as the regimental cannon and anti- 
tank companies, engineers, chemical troops, medical troops, 
tank, tank destroyer, and truck companies, may support or 
be attached to the infantry battalion. Liaison is maintained 
by supporting units through their commanders or represen- 
tatives who report to the battalion commander and maintain 
contact with him. Units attached to the battalion become a 
part of the battalion commander's command. 

Section II 


7. COMPOSITION, a. The battalion unit staff consists of 
the following: 

(1) Executive officer (second-in-command). 

(2) Adjutant (S-l) (company commander, battalion head- 
quarters company). 

(3) Intelligence officer (S-2). 

(4) Operations and training officer (S-3). 

(6) Supply officer (S-4) (from the service company). 



6. Certain officers who are charged with technical and 
administrative duties, and who are commanders of subordi- 
nate, attached, or supporting units, have staff duties as 
advisers to the battalion commander and staff in matters 
pertaining to their specialties in addition to their primary 
duties of command. Such officers are — 

(1) Battalion motor transport officer (second-in-com- 
mand, battalion headquarters company). 

(2) Company commander of the heavy weapons company. 

(3) Antitank officer (commanding battalion antitank 

(4) Communication officer (commanding battalion com- 
munication platoon). 

(5) Platoon leader of the battalion ammunition and pio- 
neer platoon (battalion munitions and gas officer). 

(6) Surgeon (commanding the battalion medical section). 

(7) Commanders of attached units, such as regimental 
cannon, artillery, tank, antitank, engineer, or chemical units. 

(8) Artillery liaison officer (from an artillery battalion 
in direct support). 

(9) Liaison officer from adjacent units. 

FOR COMBAT. The battalion command group should be so 
organized that it can function continuously, day and night, 
throughout an operation. To this end, staff officers are 
trained to perform the duties of other staff officers. (See 
par. 42.) Each staff officer keeps brief notes to enable 
him to inform the commander, or other staff officer, of the 

9. EXECUTIVE OFFICER, a. The executive officer is sec- 
ond-in-command and principal assistant of the battalion com- 
mander. He performs such duties as are delegated to him 
by the latter. 

6. The executive officer usually remains at the command 
post when the battalion commander is away. He makes de- 
cisions in the name of the latter as the occasion demands. 



He keeps abreast of the situation and of the battalion com- 
mander's plans, and keeps the battalion commander informed 
of the strength, morale, training, equipment, supply, and 
tactical situation of the battalion. He coordinates all staff 
activities. He verifies the execution of orders and notifies 
the battalion commander of any matters needing correction. 
He supervises the keeping of the unit situation map and 
checks reports and orders prepared by the staff for correct- 
ness, completeness, clarity, and brevity. 

10. S-l. a. The company commander of battalion headquar- 
ters company is also the battalion adjutant, S-l. For duties 
as company commander, see paragraph 47. 

b. The duties of S-l include — 

( 1 ) Receiving and delivering replacements to units. 

(2) Securing means for recreation and for building and 
maintaining morale. 

(3) Submitting recommendations for decorations, citations, 
honors, and awards as required. 

(4) Maintaining strength and casualty reports. 

(5) Maintaining the unit journal. 

(6) Selecting the exact location of the command post when 
so directed, in conjunction with the communication officer. 

(7) Arranging the interior installations (except signal 
communication agencies) and supervising the movements of 
the command post. 

(8) Allotting space to subordinate units in bivouac and 
assembly areas (coordinating with S-3). 

(9) Arranging for quartering parties. The battalion S-l, 
if available, will accompany quartering parties ; otherwise he 
will arrange for the detail of another officer. 

(10) Preparing data for tactical reports. 

(11) Organizing the defense of the command post. 

(12) Supervising mail distribution and collection. 

11. S-2. a. The battalion intelligence officer (S-2) is pri- 
marily concerned with the collection, recording, evaluation, 



and dissemination of information of the enemy and enemy- 
held terrain, and with counterintelligence measures. He must 
be prepared at any time to give his commander a synopsis 
of the hostile situation and an estimate of the enemy capa- 
bilities as they affect the battalion. 
6. The duties of S-2 include— 

(1) Planning of reconnaissances, and coordinating with 
S-3 the security measures relating to patrols and observation 
posts; personally making reconnaissances when the nature 
of the information desired indicates the necessity for such 

(2) Insuring that S-2 data are posted on the unit situation 

(3) Preparing data for tactical reports. 

(4) Giving special training to the battalion intelligence 
personnel and controlling them during operations. 

(5) Preparing intelligence plans and orders. 

(6) Establishing and supervising the operation of bat- 
talion observation posts. 

(7) Coordinating battalion information-collecting agencies. 
Exchanging information with the regiment and with adjacent 
and subordinate units. 

(8) Coordinating with prisoner of war interrogation 
teams; in their absence, examining and promptly forwarding 
to the regiment captured personnel, documents, and materiel. 
(See FMs 7-25 and 100-10.) 

(9) Procuring maps, aerial photographs, and photomaps 
from regimental S-2 and distributing them. 

(10) Verifying camouflage and concealment measures. 

(11) Coordinating counterintelligence measures in the bat- 
talion, including censorship. (See FM 30-25.) 

12. S-3. a. The battalion operations and training officer 
(S-3) is concerned primarily with the training and tactical 
operations of the battalion. He must be prepared at any 
time to give the battalion commander a synopsis of the situ- 
ation of the battalion and of adjacent and supporting troops, 
and to recommend possible lines of action. 



6. The duties of S-3 include — 

(1) Planning of security measures, and coordinating 
measures for reconnaissance with S-2. [See par. 116(1).] 

(2) Insuring that S-3 data are posted on the unit situation 

(3) Preparing data for tactical reports. 

(4) Planning and supervising all training in accordance 
with the regimental training program. 

(5) Maintaining training records and preparing training 

(6) Selecting initial and subsequent general locations of 
the command post (coordinating with the communication of- 
ficer), if not previously designated by the regiment. 

(7) Making terrain analyses. 

(8) Preparing detailed plans based upon the battalion 
commander's decision (coordinating with S-l and S-4). 

(9) Preparing operation maps and overlays. 

(10) Assisting the battalion commander in the prepara- 
tion of field orders (coordinating with other staff officers). 

(11) Supervising signal communication and liaison with 
higher, adjacent, and subordinate units. 

(12) Transmitting orders and instructions for the bat- 
talion commander. 

13. S-4. a. The battalion supply officer (S-4) is assigned to 
the transportation platoon, service company (see PM 7-30). 
He performs staff and supply duties as directed by the bat- 
talion commander and is responsible for the functioning of 
the battalion supply system in the field and in combat, with 
particular reference to rations, water, ammunition, gasoline, 
and oil. For details of battalion supply, see chapter 5. 
b. The duties of S-4 include — 

(1) Preparing the battalion supply plan based upon the 
regimental supply plan and the tactical plan of the battalion 

(2) Controlling elements of the company transport and 
battalion trains (ammunition and kitchen and baggage 



trains) when they are operating under battalion control. He 
is assisted in this duty by the battalion motor transport 

(3) Coordinating with the regimental supply echelon for 
details relating to the movement of battalion supplies and 

(4) Ascertaining the supply requirements of companies 
and attached units through personal contact. 

(5) Establishing and operating the battalion ammunition 
supply point, and procuring ammunition from the regimental 
ammunition supply point. He is assisted in this duty by 
the battalion munitions officer (platoon leader of the am- 
munition and pioneer platoon). 

(6) Insuring, during combat, that an adequate supply of 
ammunition is delivered to companies, the antitank platoon, 
and any attached units. For functions of the motor transport 
officer in ammunition supply, see paragraph 14. 

(7) Making a reconnaissance for covered routes between 
the battalion and the regimental supply points and points of 
release of trains, and regulating the movement of vehicles 
on these routes. 

(8) Keeping in close touch with the battalion command 
post in order to coordinate supply operations with the tactical 
situation, and supply plans with the tactical plans of the bat- 
talion commander. 

(9) Planning and conducting the defense of the battalion 
ammunition supply point and of transportation under bat- 
talion control. 

14. MOTOR TRANSPORT OFFICER, a. The motor trans- 
port officer is second-in-command of the battalion head- 
quarters company. His staff duties as motor transport 
officer constitute his principal functions. 

6. The duties of the motor transport officer include — 
(1) In march or approach march situations, controlling 
such company transport and elements of the regimental trains 
as may be grouped under battalion control. 



(2) Supervising, coordinating, and expediting the move- 
ment of company weapon carriers, ammunition train vehicles, 
and hand-carrying parties within the battalion area (between 
company areas and the battalion ammunition supply point) 
so as to insure an adequate supply of ammunition to all 

(3) Supervising and coordinating the activities of second 
echelon motor maintenance facilities operating within the 

heavy weapons company commander, in addition to his com- 
mand duties, assists the battalion commander in developing 
the battalion fire plan. He accompanies the battalion com- 
mander on reconnaissance, or makes separate reconnaissance 
and recommendations for the employment of supporting heavy 
weapons as directed. (See FM 7-15.) 

16. ANTITANK OFFICER. The leader of the battalion 
antitank platoon is the battalion antitank officer, and assists 
the battalion commander in the planning and execution of the 
battalion antitank defense. He accompanies the battalion 
commander on reconnaissance or makes a separate recon- 
naissance and recommendations for the employment and co- 
ordination of antitank means as directed. (See FM 7-35.) 

17. COMMUNICATION OFFICER, a. The battalion com- 
munication officer is responsible for the technical training 
and proficiency of the communication platoon of the battalion 
headquarters company, and for supervision of such technical 
training of communication personnel throughout the battalion 
as may be delegated to him by the battalion commander. He 
is responsible to the battalion commander for the planning, 
installation, operation, and maintenance of the battalion 
communication system. His duties include recommending 
(usually to S-3) initial and subsequent locations of the com- 
mand post, if not previously designated by the regiment. 

6. For detailed duties of the battalion communication of- 
ficer in combat, see FM 7-25. 



NEER PLATOON, a. The leader of the battalion ammuni- 
tion and pioneer platoon performs such staff duties as the 
battalion commander may direct. He is charged with the 
training and supervision of his platoon in the execution of 
their ammunition, supply, and pioneer tasks. He accomplishes 
simple field engineering (pioneer) tasks not requiring the 
technical and special equipment of engineer troops. He as- 
signs duties to members of his platoon in accordance with 
the requirements of the situation after consultation with the 
battalion S-4. He is also that battalion gas officer and bat- 
talion munitions officer. 

6. His duties include — 

(1) Performing pioneer reconnaissances; controlling the 
pioneer operations of his platoon. (See pars. 58-61.) 

(2) Assisting S-4 in selecting, establishing, and operating 
the battalion ammunition supply point. (See pars. 60 and 61.) 

(3) Within the battalion, supervising and coordinating 
gas defense training, gas defense measures, and use of de- 
contaminating agents. 

(4) Inspecting gas defense equipment. 

(5) Supervising gas reconnaissance of routes and areas 
before their use by troops. 

(6) Supervising the activities of his platoon in the employ- 
ment, detection, and removal of mines and booby traps. 

19. SURGEON, a. The battalion surgeon is a member of the 
battalion commander's staff and commands the battalion 
medical section. (See FM 7-30.) His staff functions pertain 
to the health and medical service of the battalion. He is the 
battalion sanitary inspector. He supervises the technical in- 
struction of the battalion in personal hygiene, field sanitation, 
first aid, and malaria control. The battalion section normally 
has no administrative or supply functions. The battalion 
surgeon, when practicable, is present when field orders are 

6. His duties include — 



(1) Obtaining from the battalion commander available 
information of tactical plans for the battalion; making a 
medical estimate of the situation; reconnoitering for aid sta- 
tion sites; submitting medical plans (usually through S-4) 
to the battalion commander for approval. 

(2) Establishing the aid station, supervising its operation 
and personally assisting in the care and treatment of 

(3) Evacuating sick and wounded within the battalion 
area to the battalion aid station. 

(4) Keeping the battalion commander, the regimental sur- 
geon, and the collecting company in immediate support in- 
formed of the situation as to sick and wounded. 

(5) Making timely requests to the regimental surgeon for 
special support, additional supplies, additional personnel, 
and emergency evacuation of casualties. 

ers of attached units are advisers to the battalion commander 
and staff. 

b. Their duties include — 

(1) Submitting plans and recommendations to the bat- 
talion commander and staff for the tactical employment of 
their units. 

(2) Maintaining communication with the battalion com- 
mander, and keeping him advised of the combat capabilities 
of their units. 

OBSERVERS (See FM 6-20 and 6-101.). a. An artillery unit 
in direct support of an infantry unit sends a liaison officer 
to each supported battalion (see par. 6) . The liaison officer 
is the personal representative of the artillery commander and 
remains under his command. He contacts the infantry bat- 
talion commander in time to accompany the latter on recon- 
naissance and secure detailed information as to specific fire 
missions desired, and thereafter remains with him. Artillery 



employs both wire and radio for communication; in emer- 
gencies, the infantry battalion commander should make his 
wire net available for artillery fire direction. 

6. The primary mission of the artillery liaison officer is 
to advise and assist the infantry battalion commander in 
obtaining the desired supporting or reinforcing fires, and to 
keep his own commander informed of the situation. He must 
be able to inform the infantry battalion commander of the 
capabilities of the artillery in delivering any fires desired, 
and to transmit promptly to the artillery commander requests 
for supporting fires. To enable the liaison officer to carry 
out his mission, the infantry battalion commander must keep 
him informed at all times of the location of hostile and 
friendly units, the plan of maneuver, the plan of fires, and 
the immediate needs of the battalion. 

c. As a secondary mission, the liaison officer adjusts the 
fires of his unit when necessary. 

d. Direct-support field artillery battalions, and, in most 
cases, battalions reinforcing the fires of direct-support bat- 
talions, send out forward observers, usually in the ratio of 
one to each front-line company or similar unit. Forward 
observers are controlled and coordinated by the artillery 
liaison officer with the infantry battalion. All artillery ob- 
servers coming forward to observe in an infantry battalion 
zone or sector report to the artillery liaison officer with 
that battalion in order to insure properly coordinated employ- 
ment of all observers and to exploit all means of observation. 
Forward observers also keep in close contact with the for- 
ward elements of the infantry battalion. 

e. The forward observer has two general missions. His 
primary mission is to observe and adjust artillery fire on 
those hostile elements which interfere with the mission of 
the unit with which he is working. His secondary mission 
is to keep the artillery battalion informed of the situation. 
The forward observer is not attached to the supported unit. 
He is not restricted to the zone of action or defense area of 
the supported unit. He goes where he can obtain the observa- 
tion necessary to give effective artillery support. 



platoons are frequently utilized for furnishing close support- 
ing fires for front-line battalions. One or more platoons may 
support the action of the regiment as a whole. When sup- 
porting or attached to a leading or front-line battalion, the 
platoon leader reports directly to the battalion commander. 
When practicable, the platoon leader accompanies the bat- 
talion commander on reconnaissance; thereafter, he remains 
with or leaves his own representative with the battalion com- 
mander. The platoon leader seeks detailed information as to 
specific fire missions desired; the majority of these will be 
fire upon targets of opportunity. Frequent displacement of 
weapons is required in order that they may not be engaged 
by hostile artillery. Communication is maintained be.tween 
the platoon leader and his sections by means of voice radios, 
sound-powered telephones, messengers, and arm-and-hand 
signals; pyrotechnics also may be used. 

23. LIAISON OFFICERS, a. Staff or other officers may 
be used as liaison officers. They may be sent to higher or 
subordinate units or to adjacent units (including advanced 
reconnaissance elements under control of higher com- 
manders). Such missions will usually involve brief visits 
to other units and prompt return to the battalion commander, 
in order that they may be readily available for subsequent 

b. Prior to departure on a mission, a liaison officer should 
receive from the battalion commander — 

(1) Definite and detailed instructions, in writing if prac- 
ticable, as to the liaison mission. 

(2) Information of the battalion commander's plans, par- 
ticularly if they affect the unit to which he is to be sent. 

(3) Information as to what facilities (signal and trans- 
portation) are available for transmission of any messages 
the liaison officer is to send prior to his return. 

c. Prior to departure the liaison officer should also — 

(1) Familiarize himself with the situation of his own unit 
and so far as practicable with that of the unit to which sent. 



(2) Insure that arrangements for communication (signal 
and transportation) are • adequate. 

(3) Obtain credentials in writing unless obviously un- 

d. On arrival at the headquarters to which sent, the liaison 
officer should — 

(1) Report promptly to the commander, stating his mis- 
sion and exhibiting his directive or credentials, if in writing. 

(2) Arrange for the transmission of messages he may be 
required to send. 

(3) Familiarize himself with the situation of the unit to 
which sent. 

(4) Accomplish his mission without interfering with the 
operations of the headquarters to which sent. 

(5) Keep a record of messages sent to the battalion com- 

(6) Advise the visited unit commander of the contents of 
messages to be sent to his battalion commander. 

(7) Make prompt report to his battalion commander if he 
is unable to accomplish his liaison mission. 

(8) Report his departure to the visited unit commander on 
the completion of his mission. 

e. On return to his battalion commander the liaison officer 
should — 

(1) Report on his mission. 

(2) Transmit promptly any requests of the commander 
from whose headquarters he has just returned. 

Section III 

24. GENERAL. The command procedures involved in the 
actual leading, fighting, and supplying of a unit in combat 
are termed troop leading. By his plans and orders, by full 
use of his staff, and by his actions before, during, and after 
battle, the commander makes his troop leading effective. 



Estimate of the situation. The estimate of the situation is a 
continuing process for the battalion commander throughout 
an operation. During combat operations extending over a 
period of several days, the battalion commander seldom faces 
an entirely new situation. Combat usually consists of a series 
of connected incidents most of which must be acted on im- 
mediately. The battalion commander must be constantly 
thinking ahead to make plans for future operations and for 
contingent situations that may develop. Infantry is fre- 
quently engaged on short notice and time is a vital factor. 
Quick and successful engagement depends on the preliminary 
planning of the commander and on the execution of his plans 
by his troops. The necessary preparations for combat, in- 
cluding reconnaissance, estimate of the situation, formulation 
and issuance of orders ; the movement of troops into assembly 
areas (positions); and arrangements for supply, evacuation, 
and communication are carried on concurrently so far as is 
possible. For a description of the procedure for forming a 
commander's estimate of the situation, see FM 101-5. 

b. Action upon receipt of orders. (1) The regimental 
orders may be delivered to ' the battalion commander, or he 
may be directed to report to the regimental commander to 
receive them. In the latter case, before leaving the battalion 
area, he issues to his executive officer (second-in-command) 
instructions for the conduct of the battalion in his absence. 
He takes with him the necessary personnel, communication 
facilities, and transportation. His party may include S-l, 
S-2, S-3, S-4, the heavy weapons company commander, anti- 
tank officer, communication officer, artillery liaison officer 
(if he has reported), operations sergeant, radio personnel 
with suitable equipment, and one or more messengers. The 
battalion commander usually leaves the majority of his party 
in a concealed location within signaling distance and takes 
only one or two officers to receive the regimental order. 

(2) When the battalion commander receives an oral order 
from the regimental or higher commander, he makes such 
notes as are necessary to outline his mission and to assist him 
in planning his own order. His notes must be sufficiently 



clear and comprehensive to permit his successor to under- 
stand the assigned mission should the battalion commander 
become a casualty. 

(3) Upon receipt of the order, he obtains, or has his staff 
obtain, from the regimental staff and from any representa- 
tives of units in contact with the enemy, any additional in- 
formation that applies particularly to his battalion. If he is 
not furnished an operation map, he has pertinent data, shown 
on the regimental map, copied on his own map. He makes 
a brief map study and forms a tentative tactical plan. He 
sends to his battalion any necessary instructions for imme- 
diate movement or for expediting its preparations for combat. 
Whenever possible, he will designate a time and place for 
subordinate commanders to assemble to receive his orders. 
He arranges for coordinated action with commanders of 
adjacent and supporting units or reaches an agreement to 
effect this coordination when plans have been developed. 
He informs the staff of his tentative plan and of the recom- 
mendations he wants from them, and designates a time and 
place to receive their reports. His further actions depend 
on the situation and the time available. 

c. Reconnaissance. When time is pressing, the battalion 
commander's plan of action may of necessity be based solely 
on a map study or on his previous knowledge of the situation 
and terrain. Whenever practicable, however, it is based on a 
personal ground reconnaissance. Before starting he estimates 
the time available, decides on the route to follow, and deter- 
mines what to look for. Sufficient time must be allowed to 
issue orders to subordinate commanders and permit them 
to make their reconnaissances, prepare their plans for com- 
bat, and issue their orders. The battalion commander usually 
is accompanied by S-3, the artillery liaison officer, and in 
defensive situations, the heavy weapons company commander. 
Other available officers may accompany him on his recon- 
naissance; however, quicker results can be obtained by direct- 
ing these officers to reconnoiter separately, secure specific 
information, and report at a designated place and time with 
their recommendations. He may take with him a portable 



voice radio in order to maintain contact with his command 
post and other elements. 

d. Completion of plan. (1) After completing his recon- 
naissance, the battalion commander receives any reports or 
recommendations not previously rendered and completes his 
plans. If time permits he has operation maps (or overlays 
or sketches) prepared for issue to the company commanders. 
He may release those officers who have accompanied him on 
his reconnaissance and who are familiar with his plan, in 
order that they may begin their preparations for combat. 

(2) When the battalion comamnder has not directed an as- 
sembly of subordinates to receive his order, he dispatches 
fragmentary orders by the most expeditious means, usually 
by a staff officer. Otherwise he promptly prepares notes for 
his order while a member of his staff orients the company 
commanders on the situation and the terrain. 

26. BATTALION FIELD ORDERS. The battalion com- 
mander issues field orders to warn the battalion of impending 
operations (warning orders) or to direct operations. Items 
shown on operation maps or covered by standing operating 
procedure will be called to the attention of subordinates at 
the beginning of the order. Such items and other information 
already known by subordinates need not be repeated in the 

a. Warning orders. Battalion warning orders should give 
preliminary notice of contemplated action and enable sub- 
ordinates to make necessary preparations to carry out the 
action to be directed by a more complete field order which is 
to follow. Warning orders should normally include only the 
answers to such of the interrogatives who, what, when, where, 
and why as are available. Details included in the warning 
orders may be omitted from the subsequent order. 

6. Fragmentary orders. The battalion commander issues 
fragmentary orders when speed in delivery and execution are 
imperative. He may issue them orally in person, direct a staff 
officer to issue them orally, or have them sent as messages. 
In fragmentary orders adequate information must be included 



regarding the action of units other than the particular one(s) 
to which the orders are issued. 

c. Oral orders. Mutual understanding and more thorough 
coordination are assured by issuing complete oral orders to 
assembled subordinate commanders. Such orders must, how- 
ever, be issued in sufficient time to permit these subordinate 
commanders to make their reconnaissance and prepare plans 
for combat. The place of issue preferably is one from which 
much of the field of operations is visible; locations which 
may receive hostile fire are avoided. The battalion commander 
uses simple, clear, concise language. When he is sure of 
mutual understanding, he announces the time and has 
watches synchronized. S-3 makes notes so that a record of 
the order may be entered in the journal. 

vision. The battalion commander supervises the execution 
of his orders to insure that the plan is understood and is 
carried out by subordinate units. 

6. Keeping abreast of the situation. During combat the 
battalion commander goes where he can best observe the 
action of the battalion or exert the greatest influence to 
obtain decisive results. Although the battalion commander 
operates from the command post, he will ordinarily spend 
the greater part of his time at the observation post or some 
other point at which he can obtain the fullest and most 
direct information regarding the operations and situations of 
his companies. He makes such reconnaissance -as he considers 
necessary and frequently visits his subordinate commanders 
and his troops. He maintains continuous contact with his 
command post and, before leaving the observation post, orients 
his staff as to future plans and informs them of his itinerary 
and approximate time schedule. At all times he studies the 
situation, considers possible contingencies and prepares ten- 
tative plans to meet them. He keeps his staff informed of any 
orders issued or information acquired. If he issues orders or 
acquires information affecting the general situation, he in- 
forms higher headquarters at the first opportunity. 



28. OPERATION MAP. a. The operation map may be a 
graphic representation of all or part of the battalion com- 
mander's decision and tactical plan. The map should be 
authenticated, have such brief explanatory notes as are neces- 
sary, and should present a clear picture. Detailed instructions 
that cannot be shown graphically are put into the accom- 
panying order. FM 101-5 gives examples of some of the 
items which may be placed on the operation map. 

b. The battalion commander issues some form of operation 
map whenever practicable. It may be only a rough sketch or 
an overlay. It should clarify the tactical plan for the company 
commanders and serve to shorten the order; it may consti- 
tute the entire order. Sufficient copies are reproduced to 
furnish one to each unit concerned. 

operating procedure of the battalion will supplement that of 
the regiment to make routine those administrative and tacti- 
cal features that may be standardized without loss of effec- 
tiveness. (See FM 7-40.) Tactical decisions and dispositions 
must be based on the immediate situation and therefore are 
not standardized into standing operating procedure. 

Section IV 


30. REFERENCES. For the general form and description 
of staff records, reports, and maps, see FMs 101-5 and 7-40. 

31. GENERAL. Battalion staff records should make infor- 
mation readily available, form a basis for reports and his- 
torical records, and enable the commander, or any member 
of the battalion staff, to orient himself quickly concerning 
the situation. Staff records must be reduced to the simplest 
form and smallest practicable number, in order that the staff 
may function in rapidly moving situations, in the field, at 
night (with little or no light), and under adverse weather 



32. THE JOURNAL. A form for a journal and a descrip- 
tion of its use are contained in FM 101-5. The battalion 
headquarters keeps one unit journal; it is kept under the 
supervision of S-l. 

33. SITUATION MAP. a. The battalion situation map is 
a graphic record of the tactical situation at any time. It is 
usually maintained at the command post under the supervi- 
sion of the battalion executive. It should be conveniently 
accessible to the battalion commander and staff. 

6. Military symbols prescribed in FM 21-30 are used on 
the situation map. Entries are removed as they become 

c. Copies or overlay tracings of the situation map as it 
stands at the close of given periods may be prepared to ac- 
company battalion reports. Maps are filed as a record. 

34. STAFF NOTES (WORK SHEETS). Each battalion 
staff officer keeps such notes as are necessary to write his 
part of the unit report. 

35. UNIT REPORTS. A form for a unit report and instruc- 
tions concerning it are contained in FM 101-5. It is pre- 
pared under the supervision of the battalion executive. Mem- 
bers of the staff furnish material to be included under topics 
pertaining to their staff functions. 

lays, and sketches showing graphically the situation as of a 
particular time are a valuable aid in shortening and clarify- 
ing unit reports sent to regimental headquarters. Maps, over- 
lays, and sketches are used by reconnaissance and security 
detachments and by subordinate units to advise the battalion 
commander with regard to their situation and information 
of the enemy. 



Section V 

37. REFERENCES. For duties of personnel of the battalion 
headquarters company at the command post, see chapter 3. 
For additional details concerning duties of personnel of the 
battalion communication platoon, see FMs 7-2B and 24-5. 

38. GENERAL. In the field the headquarters of the bat- 
talion is called the command post. All agencies of signal 
communication in the battalion center at the command post. 
The battalion commander, the staff, and such other officers 
as are required by the commander (see par. 7) constitute 
the command group that operates at and from the command 

39. ORGANIZATION. The command post is organized to 
furnish facilities for the battalion commander, the staff, 
communication agencies, and such other officers and enlisted 
personnel as may be present. It should be concealed from air 
and ground observation and defiladed from flat-trajectory 
fire. The different installations should be separated by at 
least BO yards to avoid destruction of more than one by a 
single shell or bomb. 

40. LOCATION, a. On the march. During tactical marches 
the battalion command group usually moves near the head 
of the battalion. The number of vehicles is held to a mini- 
mum ; those not necessary for command purposes move at the 
head of the battalion motor echelon. Part of the battalion 
communication platoon (messengers and radio) is prepared 
to furnish communication and marches near the command 
group. This group and its accompanying communication 
agencies constitute a march command post. When the bat- 
talion is acting as an advance guard, the command group 
marches at the head of the reserve. 

6. During combat. (1) During combat the general loca- 
tion of the initial battalion command post is usually pre- 
scribed by the regimental commander, who may also prescribe 



subsequent locations. If the general location is not so pre- 
scribed, the battalion commander selects and reports its loca- 
tion to the regimental command post. 

(2) The battalion command post is so located as to facili- 
tate control of the battalion. Other considerations that in- 
fluence its location are the type of tactical operation involved 
(attack or defense) , routes of communication to the regi- 
mental command post and to subordinate units, concealment 
and defilade, proximity to the observation post in moving 
situations, and obstacles to mechanized attack. Entrances 
to towns and villages, crossroads, and other places which 
attract enemy fire are avoided. An alternate location is 
selected to which the command post can move, if necessary. 
In static situations wire should be laid to the alternate com- 
mand post. In the attack the initial location should be well 
forward to avoid early displacement. In wooded or rolling 
terrain, command posts can usually be located farther for- 
ward than in terrain which offers less cover and conceal- 
ment. In defensive situations they are generally located in 
the rear part of the battalion defense area, in rear of the 
organized position of the battalion reserve, in order to avoid 
displacement in the event of a local enemy penetration. 

(3) The command post should be designated by reference 
to some terrain feature which is easily located on the ground 
and on the map. Guides are posted to direct personnel and 
vehicles to the command post and parking area, respectively. 

(4) After the general location of the command post has 
been prescribed, S-l, accompanied when practicable by the 
communication officer, selects the exact location. When S-l 
is not available, the communication officer may be designated 
to make this selection. 

41. ESTABLISHMENT. The officer selecting the exact 
site determines the interior arrangement of the command 
post and designates the location for installations. The bat- 
talion communication officer directs the installation of com- 
munication facilities ; wire is laid to the battalion observation 
post(s). (See FM 7-25.) Motor vehicles are parked in a con- 
cealed location, removed from the command post so as not 



to disclose the presence of the command post. Traffic enter- 
ing and leaving the parking area is strictly controlled. Tents 
are pitched only at night or when concealment is assured. 
Sentries are posted to enforce orders relative to camouflage, 
concealment, and control of traffic. Installations are dug in, 
time permitting. 

42. OPERATION, a. The command post is organized for 
continuous operation and to insure the necessary rest for per- 
sonnel. Every staff officer must be familiar with the duties 
of at least one other staff officer, in order to effect reliefs 
when necessary. A usual pairing is S-l with the battalion 
executive, and S-2 with S-3. Enlisted personnel work in shifts. 

6. Full use of signal communication facilities is made in 
the transmission of orders and messages. All incoming special 
messengers go first to the message center to find the location 
of the sergeant major to whom they deliver their messages. 
Scheduled messengers deliver their messages to the message 
center, which receipts for them and delivers them to the 
sergeant major. Special messengers report again to the mes- 
sage center before leaving the command post in order to pick 
up any mesasges for delivery to their unit or activity. The 
sergeant major supervises the circulation of all incoming 
messages to interested officers and their return for entry 
in the unit journal. Staff officers mark on the messages 
any action taken. Each company or unit should send two run- 
ners to the battalion command post. These runners must 
know the location of the command posts of their respective 
units and covered routes thereto. 

c. Outgoing written messages are usually sent through 
the message center. After the message center chief receives 
notice that the message has been delivered, he places the 
duplicate copy in his dead file which is turned over period- 
ically to S-l for entry in the unit journal. When there is no 
means available for rapidly clearing a message, the message 
center chief promptly advises the writer of the message. 

d. Officers insure that a synopsis of each message or order 
sent or received orally, whether by messenger, telephone, or 
voice radio, is sent to the unit journal immediately. 



43. DISPLACEMENTS. In an offensive situation the bat- 
talion command post is kept close to the attacking echelon 
in order to facilitate communication between the command 
post and the troops, and to afford protection to the command 
post. To permit rapid displacement the movement of the 
command post must be anticipated and reconnaissance made 
in time to permit its accomplishment at the desired time. 
(See FM 7-25.) The communication officer keeps the wire 
head pushed close to the advancing troops in order that wire 
communication may be available when the command post 
is moved. When the battalion commander directs that the 
command post be moved forward, the old location is aban- 
doned except for temporary guides, and the staff and other 
personnel proceed to the new location without delay. When 
desirable, a staff officer may remain at the old location 
with enough communication personnel to operate the agencies 
of signal communication and to close these agencies when 
they are no longer required. If the regiment has not pre- 
scribed the general locations of command posts for the bat- 
talion along an axis of signal communication, the battalion 
commander prescribes the new location. The communication 
officer establishes communication in the new location in 
advance, when practicable. The regiment is kept informed 
of the movement. For displacement of the command post in 
retrograde movements, see paragraphs 246, 254, and 256. 

44. COMPANY COMMAND POSTS. In combat, company 
commanders select the locations for their command posts and 
report these locations to the battalion commander, unless they 
have been previously designated by the latter. 

45. SECURITY, a. The headquarters commandant (S-l) is 
responsible for the security of the battalion command post 
in combat. Being well forward, the command post is pro- 
vided incidental security against hostile air and ground 
forces by front-line units and the battalion reserve. However, 
small hostile groups may suddenly appear at any point in 
the area, and the command post must be provided with a 
well-planned system of local protection. A perimeter defense 
is employed. All personnel except those whose duties require 



their presence at their functional installations (such as tele- 
phone operators) are divided into provisional squads for 
defense. Upon warning of enemy approach, they are as- 
sembled at rallying points in the vicinity of their installa- 
tions; from these points they proceed to their respective 
positions on the perimeter. 

6. The command post must be concealed from air and 
ground observation and defiladed from flat-trajectory fire. 
(See also par. 71.) Positions on reverse slopes will afford 
partial protection from high-angle fire. 


Chapter 3 



Section I 

46. COMPOSITION. For tactical operations, company head- 
quarters is divided into a command group and an administra- 
tion group. 

a. The command group consists primarily of personnel 
whose duties in combat are directly associated with battalion 
headquarters and in large part performed at the battalion 
command post, ammunition supply point, or train bivouac. 
In this group are the following: 

Company commander [battalion adjutant (S-l)]. 

Second-in-command (battalion motor transport officer). 

First sergeant. 

Motor sergeant and automobile mechanic. 
Bugler and orderly. 
Basic privates. 

6. The administration group consists of personnel whose 
duties relate to the mess and supply of the headquarters 
and headquarters company, and to company personnel ad- 
ministration. This group includes the following: 

Mess sergeant, cooks, and cook's helpers. 

Supply sergeant. 


Company clerk. 

47. DUTIES OF COMMAND GROUP, a. Company com- 
mander (battalion adjutant). The company commander is 
responsible for the administration, discipline, and training 
of the company and for the proper maintenance of its trans- 
port. He assigns appropriate duties to individual members 
of the company in accordance with the Table of Organiza- 
tion and Equipment, and provides for additional training of 
individuals to replace key personnel. The company commander 

sio z 



also functions as the battalion adjutant (S-l). For the 
duties of S-l, see paragraph 10. As battalion headquarters 
commandant he is responsible for the conduct of the defense 
of the command post against air and ground attacks. (See 
pars. 45 and 71.) Weapons carried by the battalion head- 
quarters company as organizational equipment, or as extra 
equipment when authorized by the theater commander to be 
issued to companies as conditions arise, are carried normally 
on the company transport. 

b. Second-in-command (battalion motor transport officer). 
The second-in-command performs the normal duties of the 
second-in-command of a company. In addition he serves in 
the special capacity of battalion motor transport officer. For 
his duties as motor transport officer, see paragraph 14. 

c. First sergeant. The first sergeant assists the company 
commander in the administration of the company. 

d. Motor sergeant. The motor sergeant is responsible to 
the company commander for the proper performance of first 
echelon maintenance by drivers of all motor vehicles assigned 
to the company and for the training of all drivers in the 
company. He is also responsible for the proper performance 
by the company automobile mechanic, within the means of 
the company, in second echelon maintenance of motor vehicles 
assigned to the company and those assigned to the rifle com- 
panies of the battalion. (See FM 25-10.) He supervises the 
loading and movement of any cargo trucks attached to the 
company and also acts as assistant to the battalion motor 
transport officer. 

e. Motor mechanic. The motor mechanic performs second 
echelon maintenance under direction of the motor sergeant. 
He drives the maintenance truck and is responsible for its 
first echelon maintenance. 

f. Orderly. The orderly serves' the battalion commander 
and staff. He participates in the defense of the command 
post. He drives the battalion commander's vehicle and is re- 
sponsible for its first echelon maintenance. 



g. Bugler. The bugler sounds such calls, warnings, and 
alerts as may be ordered. He is especially trained as a mes- 
senger and serves the company commander in that capacity. 
He participates in the defense of the command post. 

h. Basic privates. Basic privates are used as messengers, 
for replacements, and in the defense of the command post. 

geant. The mess sergeant is responsible to the company 
commander for the procurement of rations and water, division 
of rations into meals, training of cooks and cook's helpers, 
and for operation of the headquarters and headquarters 
company mess. The mess sergeant, cooks, and cook's helpers 
operate in the kitchen location, which is usually in the regi- 
mental train bivouac. (See FM 7-30.) 

6. Supply sergeant. The supply sergeant is charged with 
receiving and issuing supplies, except rations and water, for 
battalion headquarters and for the several components of 
headquarters company. He supervises the work of the ar- 
morer-artificer. During combat he usually will be in the 
forward area in order to assist the company commander 
in matters relating to supply, particularly supply of ammu- 

c. Company clerk. The company clerk is employed in the 
regimental military personnel section under the supervision 
of the military personnel officer. 

49. MARCH DISPOSITIONS, a. When not performing 
duties that require their presence elsewhere, the members of 
the company command group usually march with or near the 
battalion command group. 

6. The administration group marches with the battalion 
trains, commanded by the senior present, but subject to the 
orders of the train commander. 

50. TRAINING. In addition to being trained for their 
special duties, all personnel of company headquarters are 
trained as individual soldiers. 



51. COMPANY ADMINISTRATION. The battalion head- 
quarters company is administered in a manner similar to that 
of a rifle company. For details see PMs 7-10, 7-30, and TMs 
12-250, 12-252, and 12-255. 

Section II 


52. COMPOSITION AND DUTIES. The battalion head- 
quarters section is composed of personnel provided for the 
operation of the battalion command post and observation 
post(s). Personnel and their duties are as follows: 

a. Sergeant major. Supervises the functioning of enlisted 
men in battalion headquarters; assists the executive officer 
and S-l; also handles messages. (See par. 42.) 

b. Operations sergeant. Keeps the situation map and as- 
sists S-2 and S-3. 

c. Intelligence sergeant. In charge of battalion observa- 
tion post(s) and intelligence observer scouts; operates' at 
observation post or with patrols; may assist operations ser- 
geant, especially in work for S-2. 

d. Clerk, headquarters. Performs clerical work on records, 
including the journal, and does any typing required. ' 

e. Gets corporal. Battalion gas noncommissioned officer; 
assists battalion gas officer. (See par. 18 and PM 21-40.) 

/. Intelligence observer scouts. Operate at observation 
post(s), or accompany front-line units, patrols, raiding 
parties, or reconnaissance and security detachments as in- 
telligence scouts. 

g. Truck drivers. Operate assigned motor vehicles, and 
perform first echelon maintenance. 

Section III 

53. GENERAL. The communication platoon is composed 
of a platoon headquarters, a message center section, a wire 



section, and a radio and visual section, under command of 
the battalion communication officer. For duties of the bat- 
talion communication officer, see paragraph 17. He is 
assisted by the battalion communication chief who is second- 
in-command; together they, with any basic privates who 
may be assigned to the platoon, compose the platoon head- 
quarters. The regimental communication officer supervises 
the technical training of the platoon. For methods of in- 
stalling, operating, and maintaining the means of signal 
communication see FMs 24-5, 24-18, and 24-20. For details of 
communication methods and procedure and use of technical 
equipment, see FM 7-25. For equipment and transportation, 
see T/O and E 7-16 and TBA catalog. 

54. MESSAGE CENTER SECTION, a. Composition. The 
personnel of the message center section consists of the mes- 
sage center chief, code clerks, and messengers. 

b. Mission. The message center section operates the bat- 
talion mesage center; its sole purpose is to speed the trans- 
mission of messages. In a message center as small as that 
of the battalion, one man may perform the duties of the 
message center during slack periods. Each member of the 
message center team must be trained to perform all the duties 
incident to message center operation. The message center 
section should be able to operate as two or more teams in 
order to provide for continuous operation when the command 
post is being moved and to allow rest for its members. 

c. Duties of personnel. (1) The message center chief or- 
ganizes the message center, assigns locations within the mes- 
sage center for clerks and messengers, places necessary guides 
along routes of approach to the command post in order to 
guide messengers and others', instructs messengers in the 
route to all command posts and other installations, sees that 
sufficient forms and other message center equipment are on 
hand, notifies the battalion communication officer and the 
battalion sergeant major as soon as the message center is in 
operation, and supervises such operation. He keeps himself 
informed as to the current status of all available means of 
signal communication serving the command post. He routes 



messages through the means which will insure the most rapid 
delivery to the addressee. 

(2) Code clerks are assistants to the message center chief. 
They perform such encryptographing and decryptographing 
of messages as may be necessary, and act as reliefs for the 
message center chief. 

(3) The messengers deliver messages to subordinate, 
higher, and adjacent units. 

66. WIRE SECTION. The wire section includes a section 
leader who is battalion wire chief, switchboard operators, and 
linemen (telephone and telegraph). The wire section installs 
the switchboard and telephones at the command post and 
operates the switchboard. The section delivers the sound- 
powered telephone equipment to battalion personnel desig- 
nated to use it. The section is responsible for constructing a 
wire line to the battalion observation post(s) and keeping a 
wire line well forward in an attack ready for prompt dis- 
placement of the command post. In defensive situations the 
wire section may be required to install lateral lines to adja- 
cent battalions; in prolonged defensive situations when extra 
telephones are made available, lines to front-line companies 
•will be installed. In some circumstances it may be directed to 
lay wire between its own command post and the regimental 
command post; normally, however, the regimental wire sec- 
tion lays wire to the initial battalion command post which 
is thereafter extended by the battalion wire section prior to 
movement of the battalion command post. 

66. RADIO AND VISUAL SECTION. The personnel of the 
radio and visual section consist of a radio and visual chief, 
radio operators, and a radio repairman. The section installs 
and operates the telegraph and radio equipment, the panel 
display and message dropping ground and the pick-up mes- 
sage equipment; it also operates the pyrotechnics used at 
the battalion command post. 

nical communication equipment carried by the communication 
platoon consists of light field wire with the means to lay 



and recover it; battery-operated telephones and telegraph 
instruments; sound-powered telephone sets; key and voice 
radio sets; and pyrotechnic and panel equipment. Motor and 
foot messengers are used to supplement the technical means 
of communication. 

6. Reliance is not placed upon any one means of communi- 
cation to the exclusion of others. Whenever possible during 
combat, the battalion command post will have wire communi- 
cation to the regimental command post and to the battalion 
observation post. It will have radio communication to the 
regimental command post and the companies, and between 
the command post and the battalion commander wherever he 
may go. These will be the minimum technical means which 
will be in use. 

c. Direct communication between the battalion and aviation 
is infrequent. It ordinarily is conducted through ground 
channels to the headquarters having an air-staff section, and 
thence to the air force. If direct communication is considered 
necessary for close coordination, in cases such as when the 
battalion is detached, or surrounded, or engaged in combat on 
a small island, or when bombing missions close _ to the front 
lines have .been ordered, the following means may be 
employed : 

(1) An army air force detachment equipped with radio 
netted with the aircraft concerned and known as a visual 
control team, may be attached to the infantry battalion. This 
team may be transported by airplane and dropped by para- 
chute when necessary. 

(2) By prearrangement, a plane may execute a special 
maneuver, or discharge smoke or pyrotechnic signals, or drop 
written messages or photographs. 

(3) By prearrangement, the battalion may transmit brief 
messages by panel; or use panels, smoke pots, or mortar 
smoke to outline a portion of the bomb safety line or the 
location of the battalion's leading elements. Pyrotechnics 
from ground to plane are not satisfactory. 

(4) Liaison planes or other slow flying aircraft may be 
used to pick up written messages while in flight. 



d. The commander of an attached tank unit, by means of 
the infantry type radio set in the command tanks of com- 
panies and platoons, enters the command net of the infantry 
battalion. In addition, the tank battalion or company may 
send a liaison agent with a frequency modulated radio set 
to the battalion or company command post. This gives an 
additional channel of radio communication. A telephone box 
on the rear of each tank facilitates outside-to-inside conver- 
sations; this should be improvised, using a field telephone, if 
one is not already installed. Each tank commander operates 
his tank from the open turret until forced by fire to close it. 
Hand and other prearranged signals and tracer target desig- 
nation are used freely. It is essential that positive communi- 
cation exist between foot and tank troops, down to include 
infantry squad leaders and commanders of individual tanks. 

Section IV 


58. REFERENCES. For training in simple field engineer- 
ing and field expedients, installing land mines and booby 
traps, and ammunition supply, see FMs 5-15, 5-30, 5-31, 7-30, 
7-35, and 25-10. 

59. COMPOSITION. For organization, equipment, arma- 
ment, and transportation, see T/O and E 7-16. 

60. FUNCTIONS. The ammunition and pioneer platoon is 
concerned with the ammunition supply of the battalion, the 
execution of simple field engineering tasks not requiring the 
technical training and special equipment of engineer troops, 
and the installation and breaching of mine fields. The pla- 
toon leader assigns duties to members of the platoon in 
accordance with the requirements of the situation after con- 
sultation with battalion S-4. During combat the platoon, 
under the supervision of battalion S-4, operates the battalion 
ammunition supply point and uses this point as a base for 
all its activities. 



a. Ammunition supply. In combat the platoon leader makes 
available to the battalion S-4 such portion of the platoon as 
is necessary for ammunition supply. The platoon operates 
the battalion ammunition service as directed by the battalion 
S-4, loads and unloads ammunition vehicles, and when the 
situation does not permit the transportation of ammunition 
by weapon carrier beyond the battalion ammunition supply 
point, carries the ammunition forward by hand to the com- 
pany areas where it is taken over by company ammunition 
bearers. It may carry the ammunition directly to the weapons. 
Personnel may be attached to one or more subordinate units 
when it appears that considerable movement of ammunition 
by hand will be necessary. They may also accompany empty 
ammunition vehicles to assist in loading them at the regimen- 
tal ammunition supply point. 

6. Pioneer work. The pioneer duties of the platoon include 
minor road repair, bridging of small streams and ditches, 
temporary repair of small bridges and culverts, making ra- 
vines and ditches passable for motor vehicles, maintenance of 
crossings at fords, elimination of obstructions and obstacles 
to motor vehicles, marking routes and localities, execution of 
minor demolitions, and execution of such field expedients as 
are necessary for the road and cross-country movement of 
the battalion vehicles. On the march, when engineers are not 
attached, the platoon may be divided into two groups. The 
first group is employed near the head of the battalion for 
minor road maintenance and repairs and for removing ob- 
stacles and obstructions. The second group accompanies the 
battalion trains and assists their movement. During combat 
a portion of the platoon will usually be employed on pioneer 
tasks in order to assist the forward movement of vehicles. 

c. Installation and breaching of mine fields. The platoon 
will be prepared to: lay, mark and record mine fields; 
recognize all types of mines and booby traps used by friendly 
and enemy troops ; disarm, lift and destroy activated antitank 
and antipersonnel mines and booby traps of all types used by 
friendly and enemy troops ; and breach extensive mine fields, 
The platoon is furnished with portable mine-detector sets, 



61. DUTIES OF PERSONNEL, o. The platoon leader, func- 
tions as battalion pioneer, munitions, and gas officer. He 
supervises the work of his platoon and assists S-4 in the 
operation of the battalion ammunition supply point. (See 
par. 18.) 

b. The platoon sergeant is assistant to the platoon leader. 
He may be placed in charge of all men of the platoon as- 
signed for duty with ammunition supply, or he may be used 
to assist in supervising pioneer work. 

c. The squad leaders supervise the work of their squads. 

d. A truck driver drives the vehicle assigned to the pla- 
toon and performs first echelon maintenance. 

e. The privates are the ammunition bearers and perforin 
pioneer and mine work. (See par. 60.) 

Section T 

62. REFERENCES. For characteristics of the 57-mm gun 
and for mechanical training, gun drill, and technique of fire, 
see FM 23-75. For training of individuals in other weapons 
see FMs 23-5, 23-7, 23-30, and 23-65. For tactics of the squad 
and platoon, see FM 7-35. 

63. COMPOSITION. For organization, equipment, arma- 
ment, and transportation see T/O and E 7-16 and TBA 

64. MISSIONS, a. Primary mission. The primary mission 
of the battalion antitank platoon is to provide antimechanized 
defense to the battalion. To provide all-around security, 
its guns must be coordinated with the other antimechanized 
means of the battalion and the regiment. Frequently, the 
antimechanized defense of the battalion is supplemented by 
elements of the regimental antitank company. Exceptionally, 
it is detached for special missions. The antitank company 
commander, as regimental antitank officer, will frequently 
include the employment of the battalion antitank platoon in 



his plan for regimental antimechanized protection, particu- 
larly in defense. Ordinarily, the platoon will be employed 
■within the area of its own battalion. 

b. Secondary missions. Secondary missions include firing 
on hostile antitank guns and other located crew-served weap- 
ons, emplacements, pillboxes, and other point targets. Second- 
ary targets will be many and frequent when a battalion is 
employed as a front-line unit or on an exposed flank, or is 
engaged in a special operation, such as an attack against 
a town or fortified position. If a hostile mechanized attack 
develops while guns are engaged in any secondary mission, 
they revert at once, without further orders, to their primary 
mission of antimechanized defense. 

65. READINESS FOR ACTION. Crews manning antitank 
guns must be prepared at all times to meet a sudden 
mechanized attack. Men are trained to fire in any direction 
in the shortest possible period of time. During marches, 
when the platoon is directed to provide protection by occupy- 
ing successive positions along the route or zone of advance, 
guns may be held mobile, coupled to truck (prime mover), 
in the vicinity of tentative firing positions. In other situa- 
tions guns are uncoupled and either occupy firing positions 
or cover positions in the immediate vicinity of firing 
positions. (See PM 7-35.) 

66. COMMUNICATION. The platoon must rely on foot 
messengers, arm-and-hand signals, and the platoon head- 
quarters truck for transmitting orders or information un- 
less adequate technical means, such as sound-powered tele- 
phones or voice radio, are allotted to it. While it is the 
responsibility of the battalion commander to maintain con- 
tact with the platoon, the platoon leader should assist him 
in this respect by the utilization of all means of communica- 
tion at his disposal. 

toon leader makes timely recommendations to the battalion 
commander for the use of his platoon to insure that the 
combination of antitank guns, antitank rifle grenades, rocket 



launchers, and mine fields, and other obstacles provide the 
best possible protection to the battalion. (See par. 64.) He 
cooperates with the commander of any other antitank ele- 
ments which may be located in the immediate vicinity of 
his position area(s). 

6. Antitank guns must be protected against night attack 
by specially detailed troops armed with rifles and bayonets, 
or be moved within an area occupied by riflemen. 

68. AMMUNITION SUPPLY, a. Prescribed loads of am- 
munition are carried on prime movers and are maintained 
as continuously as possible. The battalion S-4 is responsible 
for resupply of ammunition to the vicinity of the gun posi- 
tions; he is assisted by the ammunition and pioneer platoon. 
(See pars. 60, 86.) The antitank platoon leader is responsi- 
ble for maintaining a record of ammunition expenditure, 
making timely requests to battalion S-4 for replenishment 
and making every effort to insure positive results. He is 
assisted in these duties by the platoon sergeant. 

6. Upon the arrival of a platoon or squad at its uncoupling 
position, sufficient ammunition to meet contemplated needs 
is unloaded from the prime mover (s) and hand-carried to 
the firing position (s). 

c. In the attack, because of the limited mobility of the anti- 
tank gun when moved by hand, prime movers should usually 
remain under cover near gun positions, and should not be 
used for ammunition supply. The platoon headquarters 
truck may be used in emergencies. If replenishment in 
larger quantities becomes necessary, and battalion trans- 
portation is not available, the battalion commander must 
arrange to secure a vehicle from the ammunition train. In 
a rapid forward movement, such as with an advance guard, 
or in pursuit, the system of supply is similar to that in an 
attack. When distances from supply points are great, needs 
must be anticipated, and additional quantities of ammunition 
and transport secured from the regiment. 

d. In defensive situations, the battalion commander pre- 
scribes the amount of antitank ammunition to be unloaded 
in the battalion defense area. Frequently, after the enemy 



has established contact, replenishment from the rear is im- 
practicable during daylight; however, provision must be 
made for the immediate resupply of elements of the platoon 
whose ammunition becomes seriously depleted. This is ac- 
complished by keeping part of the ammunition at a platoon 
supply point near the gun positions. Further resupply' is 
effected after dark. 

e. During retrograde movements, resupply is held to the 
minimum necessary for antimechanized defense, amounts 
estimated as sufficient for contemplated needs' being left 
with each squad. Regimental or ammunition-carrying 
vehicles may be released to the platoon on rear positions, or 
resupply may be effected by the establishment of ammuni- 
tion supply points by higher headquarters, either on rear 
positions or en route thereto. The battalion commander will 
inform the platoon leader as to the exact location of 
such points'. 

Section VI 

69. GENERAL. Security embraces the measures taken by a 
command to protect itself against annoyance, surprise, and 
observation by hostile air and ground forces, in order to 
maintain its own freedom of action. Principal threats are 
from hostile armored vehicles and infiltrating combat patrols 
on the ground, and hostile aircraft and airborne troops from 
the air. 

70. WARNING SYSTEM, a. General. The regimental anti- 
aircraft-antimechanized warning system includes an intelli- 
gence system and a signal communication system, both co- 
ordinated to insure early and continuing information of the 
presence and action of hostile air and armored elements. 
(See FM 7-40.) The battalion system is included in that 
of the regiment. Air-antitank guards and small patrols are 
employed to cover all approaches. They give prompt warn- 
ing of the approach of hostile air and armored elements, 
including troops' landing by parachute or glider. 



6. Standard warning signal. The following standard warn- 
ing signal is prescribed to give warning of the approach of 
hostile aircraft or armored vehicles: three long blasts of a 
whistle, vehicular horn, or siren, repeated several times; or 
three equally-spaced shots with a rifle, carbine, or pistol; or 
three short bursts of fire from an automatic weapon. In 
daylight, the individual giving the signal indicates, by 
pointing, the direction of the danger. To indicate enemy 
tanks, he strikes his fist several times against his rifle or 
carbine between the upper sling swivel and the front sight. 
At night, the alarm signal will be supplemented by voice 
to indicate direction. In addition to the standard signal, other 
available means, such as radio and pyrotechnics, may be em- 

COMPANY, a. Responsibility of leaders. The battalion 
headquarters commandant (S-l) is responsible for the plan 
and conduct of the defense of the battalion command post. 
(See par. 45.) He coordinates with other staff members in 
order to insure maximum functioning efficiency; however, 
in selecting the exact location, considerations of defense will 
be of primary importance. The defense plan provides 
for the occupation of sectors in such a manner as to insure 
all-around defense of every part of the command post. In 
like manner, the battalion supply officer (S-4) is responsible 
for the plan and conduct of the defense of the battalion am- 
munition supply point, as well as of transportation under 
battalion control. (See par. 13.) The responsible officers 
mentioned are charged with the installation of any mines, 
booby traps, tactical and protective wire and other obstacles. 
(See par. 72 and Chapter 9.) 

6. Defense of installations and individual protection. The 
installations operated by personnel of the company are de- 
fended by such personnel. (See par. 45.) Prone shelters 
may be authorized in rear areas when the danger from 
ground attack is remote or when the warning service will 
insure the availability of sufficient time to construct fox- 
holes. (See also PM 7-10.) 



72. ANTIMECHANIZED DEFENSE, a. In providing for 
antimechanized defense, full advantage will be taken of both 
natural and artificial obstacles; mines will be laid when 
made available. The locations of mines and other obstacles 
will be coordinated with rifle, carbine, antitank grenade, and 
rocket launcher fire by the responsible leader in the locality 
organized. Action of individuals is as described in FMs 
7-10 and 7-35. 

b. For the employment of antitank guns in the defense of 
bivouac and assembly areas, see par. 129 and FM 7-35. 

73. ANTIAIRCRAFT DEFENSE. Measures taken for anti- 
aircraft defense include warning, concealment, camouflage, 
dispersion and fire. Upon receipt of warning of the ap- 
proach of hostile aircraft, troops in position, bivouac, or bil- 
lets, and, in general, foot troops on the road, immediately 
seek concealment and defilade. When time of warning per- 
mits, marching troops deploy off the road and continue the 
march. Motorized and mechanized units continue the march. 
When secrecy is possible and is of paramount importance, 
troops will remain motionless after taking cover. If secrecy 
is impossible or is not of paramount importance, all suitable 
weapons are fired against low-flying hostile aircraft. No 
aircraft will be fired upon unless it has been clearly recogniz- 
ed as hostile or is positively identified as hostile, or attacks 
with bombs or gunfire. Troops will fire only upon order of 
an officer or responsible noncommissioned officer. Com- 
manders of all echelons are personally responsible that the 
above restrictions are observed. (See also FM 100-5.) 



Chapter 4 

74. REFERENCES. For composition and duties of the regi- 
mental medical detachment, see T/O and E 7-11 and FM 7-30. 
For details of medical supply and operations of the battalion 
medical section, see FM 8-10. The process of evacuation of 
casualties is shown in figure 3. 

75. COMPOSITION. The battalion section of the regimental 
medical detachment comprises the personnel and vehicles 
provided by the current T/O and E 7-11 and forms a compo- 
nent part of the battalion trains. (See par. 82.) The Table 
of Organization and Equipment indicates the duties of each 
individual assigned to the section. 

76. MISSION. The battalion medical section serves the bat- 
talion by establishing and maintaining preventive medical and 
sanitary measures and appropriate medical, surgical, and 
dental treatment in garrison, bivouac, on the march, and in 
combat. During combat, it evacuates sick and wounded per- 
sonnel to the battalion aid station, where they are received, 
sorted, and given temporary care and such emergency treat- 
ment as limited facilities will permit. Cases requiring further 
treatment are evacuated to collecting stations by collecting 
units of the division medical battalion. 

duties of the battalion surgeon, see paragraph 19. The duties 
of the medical assistant are to assist the battalion surgeon 
in emergency medical treatment and to conduct reconnais- 
sance for aid station sites when so directed. He may be in 
charge of the supply and transportation of the battalion 
medical section. 

78. COMPANY AID MEN. Three company aid men are 
attached to each lettered company when on the march, in 
bivouac, or in combat. The respective company commanders 
attach one company aid man to each rifle platoon and to each 




platoon of the heavy weapons company. Their duties are 
as follows: 

a. To accompany the platoon to which they are attached. 

b. To send information to their battalion surgeon by litter 
bearers and walking wounded. This information includes the 
location of the platoon, any contemplated changes in location 
or disposition, and the approximate number and location of 
casualties in the platoon area. 

c. To administer emergency medical treatment. 

d. To inform sick and walking wounded of the exact loca- 
tion of the aid station and the route thereto. 

e. To place all seriously wounded in defiladed locations 
along the route of advance. To examine and tag the dead, 
and mark the location. 

79. LITTER BEARER GROUP. The litter bearer group 
provides squads of litter bearers. Four-man squads are 
usually used. In combat the litter bearers evacuate to the 
battalion aid station all non-walking wounded within the 
battalion zone or area. The vehicles of the section are utilized 
to assist the litter bearers in those areas which are compara- 
tively free from aimed small-arms fire. 

80. AID STATION GROUP. The aid station group, estab- 
lishes and operates the battalion aid station; emergency 
medical treatment is given. Only minor surgical procedures 
are attempted, and then only when immediately imperative. 
Non-walking casualties requiring evacuation to hospitals are 
held at the aid station until picked up by litter bearers or 
ambulances from the division collecting company. Walking 
wounded are directed to division collecting stations. The 
slightly wounded are sent or escorted back to their companies. 

The exigencies of combat may require the use of civilian 
shelter, utilities, and transport for the care and evacuation 
of the wounded. Prisoners of war may be used for the evacua- 
tion of their own nationals. All available means for caring 
for the wounded within the battalion zone or area must 
be thoroughly exploited. 


Chapter 5 


Section I 

82. COMPOSITION. Battalion trains comprise the battalion 
section of the transportation platoon of the service company 
and the battalion section of the regimental medical detach- 
ment train. The battalion trains are composed of the per- 
sonnel and vehicles provided by current Tables of Organiza- 
tion and Equipment. (See T/O and E 7-11.) 

83. MISSION. During tactical operations, and when the 
battalion supply echelon is in operation, the mission of the 
battalion trains is to furnish supply, maintenance, and evac- 
uation facilities for the battalion. For details, see section 
II of this chapter and FM 7-30. 

84. DUTIES OF PERSONNEL, a. For duties of the battal- 
ion supply officer (S-4), see paragraph 13. 

6. The battalion supply sergeant is the principal enlisted 
assistant to the battalion supply officer and works in the 
battalion area under the supervision of the latter. 

c. The section truckmaster is responsible for the move- 
ment of vehicles entrusted to his charge. 

d. Truck drivers are responsible for the habitual camou- 
flage, concealment, defense, and first echelon maintenance 
of their vehicles. 

Section II 

85. REFERENCES. For definitions, fundamentals, and 
methods relating to supply, see FM 100-10; for logistical 
data, see FM 101-10 ; for supply within the infantry regiment, 
see FM 7-30. For medical supply and evacuation, see 
chapter 4 and FM 7-30. 



86. RESPONSIBILITY. Supply is a responsibility of com- 
mand which cannot be delegated. When the regiment is in 
garrison or camp, supply is usually direct from regiment to 
companies; the battalion echelon of supply as such is then 
inoperative, but should function under regimental S-4 for 
training purposes. When the battalion echelon of supply is 
in operation, the battalion commander is responsible for the 
initial supply and the replenishment of all classes of supply 
to his battalion. He is responsible for submitting to the 
regimental commander an estimate of supplies needed for 
all the elements of his battalion. This estimate must insure 
an adequacy of supplies for his present or contemplated 
strength without creating an immobilizing surplus. Estimates 
or requisitions must be forwarded sufficiently in advance 
to enable the regiment to make supplies available for distri- 
bution in time to meet the requirements of the battalion. The 
battalion commander must use the means at his disposal to 
effect distribution. 

87. MEANS, a. The battalion commander employs his staff, 
principally the battalion supply officer (S-4) and the motor 
transport officer, to assist him with supply. (See pars. 13 
and 14.) He employs personnel of the ammunition and 
pioneer platoon to assist in ammunition supply. Supplies for 
battalion headquarters are furnished by the battalion head- 
quarters company. (See Chapter 3.) 

6. Transportation for supplying the battalion is furnished 
by the battalion trains and by company transport organic 
within the battalion. (See FM 7-30.) 

88. CLASS I SUPPLY, a. General. (1) Rations and water 
are the principal items of class I supply for the battalion. 
These items are consumed at a relatively uniform rate ir- 
respective of combat operations or terrain. 

(2) The field ration may consist of field ration A, B, C, 
D, or K, the 10 in 1 ration, or combinations of these. For a 
description of these rations and their use, see FM 7-30. 

(3) Troops should receive three meals daily. A minimum 
of two of these meals should be hot; the one-burner stove is 



especially desirable for units in contact with the enemy and 
for detached posts. Plans for feeding troops are based upon 
the tactical situation, availability of vehicles, road net, traffic 
conditions, terrain, and weather. Methods of preparation 
and distribution of rations are discussed in PM 7-30. (See 
fig. 4.) 

6. Battalion feeding plan. (1) During tactical operations, 
the kitchen and baggage train usually moves and bivouacs 
under regimental control. The battalion section of the train 
is released to battalion control when necessary. The regi- 
mental supply plan for feeding the troops prescribes the 
place and hour that kitchen vehicles will be released to the 
battalion and when and where they will be returned to regi- 
mental control. Based upon the regimental plan and the 
tactical plans of the battalion commander, the battalion 
supply officer formulates a plan for feeding troops. This 
plan includes — 

(a) Attachment to companies (for rations) of units oper- 
ating with the battalion which do not have messing facilities. 

(b) Provision for feeding elements of companies in re- 
mote locations. 

(c) Route and plan of movement for kitchen vehicles 
from the regimental point of release to the battalion point 
of release. 

(d) Place and hour that kitchen vehicles will be released 
to companies and when and where they will be returned to 
battalion control. 

(e) Route and plan for movement of kitchen vehicles to 
return them to regimental control. 

(2) When the battalion commander has approved the 
plan, the battalion supply officer informs each company of 
the place and hour that kitchen vehicles will be released and 
when and where they are to be returned to battalion con- 
trol. He arranges for company guides to meet the kitchen 
vehicles and conduct them to company mess locations (see fig. 
4). For characteristics of desirable mess locations, see PM 




89. CLASS II SUPPLY, a. Class II supplies comprise arti- 
cles' for which allowances are established by Tables of Organi- 
zation and Equipment and T/E 21. Type items are clothin?, 
gas masks, arms, trucks, and items of signal equipment. 

6. Clothing and equipment are ordinarily replaced during 
periods when the battalion is not engaged in combat. 

c. During combat, requests for necessary replacements of 
weapons or other items of Class II equipment are dispatched 
by companies through the battalion commander using the 
most expeditious method. Requests for weapons, together, 
when practicable, with the damaged weapons to be replaced, 
are usually sent back by ammunition trucks; such replace- 
ments are delivered to the battalion ammunition supply 
point by the ammunition vehicles. Other class II items may 
be delivered in the train bivouac direct to company details 
which arrange to have the items carried forward. 

90. CLASS III SUPPLY, a. Class III supplies include gas- 
oline, lubricating oil, and grease. A reserve supply of gasoline 
is carried by each vehicle in 5-gallon drums. Since this is 
the only gasoline reserve carried by the regiment, a number 
of these drums may be removed from vehicles and utilized 
to establish a rotating supply of filled drums at supply points 
of the regiment and battalion. A reserve supply of oil and 
grease in 5-gallon containers is carried on battalion and com- 
pany maintenance trucks and in the regimental maintenance 
section. During movement or in combat, regimental and 
higher headquarters will establish class III supply points, 
where resupply of gasoline may be made by exchange of 
empty for filled drums, or by direct filling of vehicle tanks 
from tank trucks. 

6. During movement, these supply points are established 
along the route of march when necessary. During combat, 
individual vehicles of the battalion going to the rear refill at 
supply points established at the train bivouac or other con- 
venient locations, such as the regimental ammunition supply 
point. For refilling vehicles which do not make trips to the 
rear, the battalion commander (usually through his supply 



officer) may arrange for filled containers to be sent forward 
when meals are delivered to the troops. 

91. CLASS IV SUPPLY, a. Class IV supplies comprise 
articles which are not covered in the Tables of Organization 
and Equipment and T/E 21, and for which demands are 
directly related to current or contemplated operations, except 
articles in classes III and V. Type items are fortification 

b. In defensive situations, when engineer tools and field 
fortification materials are furnished the battalion, tools and 
material will be released to the battalion on trucks at supply 
points accessible to the battalion. The battalion commander 
(usually through his supply officer) arranges for delivery 
of tools and material to companies. He also arranges for the 
return of tools when work is completed. 

92. CLASS V SUPPLY, a. General. (1) Class V supplies 
include ammunition, pyrotechnics, and antitank mines. The 
amount of such supplies carried on weapon carriers and on 
the battalion ammunition train is that deemed necessary 
to initiate and sustain combat until replenishment from the 
rear can become effective. 

(2) The battalion or regimental commander prescribes 
the amount of ammunition carried by the individual soldier 
and the amount initially carried on weapon carriers and the 
ammunition train. He also prescribes the amount of extra 
ammunition to be issued prior to combat and the amount 
to be maintained on vehicles of the ammunition train after 
such issue. 

(3) The battalion commander prescribes the location of 
the battalion ammunition supply point and, in offensive 
situations, the route of ammunition advance. The battalion 
route of ammunition advance starts with the initial location 
for the battalion ammunition supply point, and continues to 
include a probable location from which to serve troops on the 
final objective. Its purpose is to insure that units of the 
attacking echelon which send back for ammunition will be 
able to locate the supply point, even though it may be in the 
process of displacing. 



b. Initial supply. Prior to entry into combat the regiment 
releases to the battalion the battalion's section of the am- 
munition train and all company transport moving under regi- 
mental control. As soon as their need is foreseen, the bat- 
talion commander releases company transport to companies; 
he releases ammunition train vehicles to rifle units to issue 
extra ammunition or to dump loads on company defense 
areas. Usually extra ammunition is issued in the battalion 
assembly area before the battalion develops for combat. At 
the same time, ammunition train vehicles may be released 
temporarily to the heavy weapons company for the issue 
of mortar ammunition. Upon completion of the issue or dump- 
ing of ammunition, ammunition train vehicles are returned 
to the battalion ammunition supply point. The battalion S-4 
is usually charged with controlling the ammunition train 
vehicles in initial supply. (See par. 13.) He may be assisted 
by the battalion motor transport officer. In defensive 
operations, in accordance with the regimental order, the bat- 
talion commander prescribes the amount of ammunition to be 
placed on the battalion defense area. The minimum amount 
so prescribed should be an amount estimated as sufficient 
to last until dark. (See fig. 5.) 

c. Replenishment. (1) GENERAL, (a) The battalion am- 
munition plan must provide for replenishment in amounts 
and types which will suport the tactical situation. Often the 
ratio of types and amounts of ammunition requested by com- 
pany commanders, to satisfy their immediate or future re- 
quirements, will vary from the normal loads of ammunition- 
carrying vehicles. The battalion S-4 is responsible for the 
delivery of ammunition to points selected by company com- 
manders from which the company commanders can effect 
distribution. (See par. 68.) 

(b) The battalion commander will keep the regimental 
commander informed of his requirements. (See par. 86.) 

battalion ammunition supply point is located in the most 
advanced area that is practicable in the situation. The bat- 
talion S-4 establishes and operates the battalion ammuni- 
tion supply point and organizes hand-carrying parties with 



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personnel furnished from the ammunition and pioneer pla- 
toon. He is also charged with its defense, using the same 
personnel for this purpose. In the attack, the battalion am- 
munition supply point is advanced by bounds along the route 
of ammunition advance prescribed by the battalion com- 
mander. Desirable characteristics of battalion ammunition 
supply points are — 

(a) Convenience to the units served. 

(b) Location at or in rear of a point where routes to 
subordinate units diverge. 

(c) Facility of motor movement to the rear. 

(d) Concealment from air. and ground observation. 

(e) Defilade from flat-trajectory fire and suitability for 
defense against air and ground attack. 

(f ) Ease of identification by day or night. 

(g) Adequate space for truck turn-around and transfer 
of loads. 

entry into combat, company vehicles are released to company 

(b) In general, the battalion commander (through the 
battalion motor transport officer) supervises, coordinates, 
and expedites the movement of company vehicles in rear of 
company areas. He assumes control of company transport 
when enemy activity or lack of concealment and defilade 
precludes its retention in company areas, or when it reports 
to the battalion ammunition supply point for refill. Company 
vehicles are returned to company control as soon as prac- 

(c) In defensive situations, company vehicles, whose pres- 
ence is not essential on the battle position, are usually as- 
sembled under regimental control in or near the train bivouac. 
The tactical situation and the terrain permitting, a part or all 
of the company transport of a battalion in regimental reserve 
may be retained within the battalion area. 

(4) OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS, (a) To maintain ad- 
equate stocks at the battalion ammunition supply point 



from which replenishment to the companies can be effected, 
loads of partially emptied trucks are consolidated or un- 
loaded in order to obtain empty vehicles for immediate dis- 
patch to the regimental ammunition supply point. Loaded 
trucks are usually held at the battalion ammunition supply 
point until emptied or moved forward along the route of 
ammunition advance. As soon as emptied each ammunition 
truck is sent back to the regimental ammunition supply 
point for refill. 

(b) Replenishment of ammunition to companies is effected 
by means of ammunition-carrying vehicles, supplemented by 
hand-carrying parties when necessary. Companies return 
emptied vehicles to the battalion ammunition supply point, 
where they are refilled or dispatched to the regimental am- 
munition supply point for refill. 

(c) When conditions, such as' unsuitable terrain or in- 
tensity of hostile fires, prevent the movement of vehicles 
over all or part of the routes to company areas, hand-carry- 
ing parties from the ammunition and pioneer platoon, or 
other personnel, are used to complete the movement of ammu- 
nition to company areas or to the weapons. 

(d) The battalion motor transport officer assists in the 
replenishment of ammunition by supervising, coordinating, 
and expediting the movement of vehicles and hand-carrying 
parties forward of the battalion ammunition supply point. 

(5) DEFENSIVE OPERATIONS. When the initial sup- 
ply of ammunition has been placed in the battalion defense 
area (see par. b above), company and ammunition train 
vehicles are returned to the battalion ammunition supply 
point, where they normally revert to regimental control. 
They usually are refilled and held under cover at or near 
the regimental train bivouac. After dark, ammunition train 
and company vehicles are released to the battalion and 
brought forward to the battalion ammunition supply point. 
Replenishment of ammunition is effected in the same manner 
as in offensive operations. (See also par. 68c.) 

(6) FAST MOVING SITUATIONS, (a) During fast- 
moving situations when considerable distances may separate 



the battalion from supply points, ammunition requirements 
for the operation must be anticipated, additional transport 
secured, ammunition issued, and replenishment obviated so 
far as practicable. 

(b) Plans for ammunition supply in retrograde movements 
must include provisions for an adequate amount of ammu- 
nition, without replenishment, for elements of the battalion 
with the covering force. Temporary ammunition supply 
points, when required, will be established along the route of 
withdrawal to provide replenishment for the remainder of 
the battalion. 

93. ORDERS, a. Administrative matters in the battalion 
order may include such of the following items as are appli- 
cable : 

(1) Hour and place of issue of extra ammunition. 

(2) Location of the battalion ammunition supply point. 

(3) Route of advance of ammunition (in attack only). 

(4) Amount of ammunition to be placed on position (in 
defense only). 

(5) Disposition of company transport or of train vehicles. 

(6) Location of the battalion aid station. 

6. Any additional directions of an administrative nature 
may be included in the order or issued later in fragmentary 
form to those concerned. These directions may include plans 
for feeding, instructions concerning supply of gasoline and 
oil, and disposition of individual rolls. 

94. INDIVIDUAL ROLLS. On the march, the individual 
rolls of units of the battalion may be transported in kitchen 
and baggage train vehicles when part of organic loads have 
been dumped. Rolls are. delivered to units during long halts 
when the duration of the halt and weather conditions war- 
rant. During offensive combat, rolls are usually sent forward 
with supper and collected after breakfast. In defensive 
situations, the men often may keep individual rolls with 
them. The battalion commander (usually through the bat- 



talion S-4) makes the necessary arrangements for the 
transportation of rolls and for their delivery and collection. 

Exploitation. Efficient use must be made of all resources 
in the battalion area to supplement supply and to provide 
for deficiencies when the normal means for procurement 
and distribution of supplies are inoperative or partially in- 
operative. Troops must be trained to load, lay, and fire 
captured weapons in general use by the enemy; and to effect 
minor repairs and operate captured enemy transport, both 
mechanized and motorized, in the theater of operations. 

b. Battlefield recovery of vehicles, weapons, and other 
supplies. Means within the battalion must be employed to 
recover vehicles, both our own and those of the enemy, which 
are serviceable or can be made serviceable within the combat 
zone before the fluctuation of battle permits the enemy to 
recover or destroy them. Individuals or crews may often 
find it expedient to use available enemy weapons and am- 
munition; it must be borne in mind, however, that because 
of the distinctive sounds and appearance of these weapons, 
there is a probability that troops using them will be mis- 
taken for the enemy unless nearby friendly troops are 
promptly informed of such use. Usable stocks of all types 
of supplies which are discovered within the battalion area 
must be safeguarded and higher authority immediately 
notified of the general type, amount, and location of such 

c. Destruction of serviceable or reparable vehicles and 
usable supplies. Troops must be trained in quick, effective 
methods for the destruction of materiel and supplies of all 
types. In the case of weapons and vehicles, efficient destruc- 
tion will require further action than the mere removal of 
certain working parts; one or more vital parts must be 
damaged beyond repair. On like weapons and vehicles, the 
same parts should receive this treatment. If organic means 
are not included with vehicles, efficient methods must be im- 
provised for their destruction and to render useless all other 



types of supplies. The decision to destroy ordnance ma- 
teriel in order to prevent its capture and use by the enemy 
is a command decision, and will be ordered and carried out 
only on authority delegated by the division or higher com- 
mander. For methods of destruction see FM 7-30. Prompt 
action will be taken to prevent serviceable equipment or 
usable supplies from falling into the hands of the enemy. 



Chapter 6 


Section I 

96. REFERENCES. For the fundamental doctrines govern- 
ing troop movements, see FM 100-5. For technical and 
logistical data pertaining to troop movements, see FM 101-10. 
For operation of regimental trains, see FM 7-30. For de- 
tailed treatment of motor movements, see FM 25-10. For 
details of march hygiene, see FM 21-10. For forms for 
march orders, see FM 101-5. For details of infantry troop 
movements and march technique, see FM 7-40. 

SectioD II 

97. GENERAL. The battalion may form part of the main 
body, it may be detailed as a security force of a larger unit, 
or it may move as an individual unit. When the battalion 
forms part of the security force of a larger unit, it may be 
detailed as the advance, flank, or rear guard. 

When part of the main body, the battalion conducts its 
march in accordance with the orders of the column com- 
mander or the provisions of standing operating procedure. 
The motor elements of the battalion usually march under 
regimental control in a separate serial. Normally only such 
vehicles march with the battalion as are required for com- 
mand, reconnaissance, communication, and antiaircraft and 
antimechanized protection. Machine guns employed for anti- 
aircraft protection may be distributed throughout the bat- 
talion or advance by bounds on the flanks of the battalion 
if terrain permits, or may advance by working forward 
through the column to critical points previously recon- 



noitered. The antitank p.atoon may be held under regimental 
control for the protection of the regiment as a whole; other- 
wise it is disposed by the battalion commander for the pro- 
tection of the battalion, usually by distributing squads 
throughout the column. The battalion sends patrols to the 
flanks to furnish ground security and function as air- 
antitank guards, and requires that each subordinate unit 
designate men to transmit warning signals. 

a. Mission. The mission of the advance guard battalion is to 
prevent unnecessary delay of the main body and to protect 
it against surprise and ground observation from the front. 
The advance guard battalion insures for the main body the 
possession of key terrain features dominating the route of 
advance, or the time and space required for its deployment 
for action. (See figure ft.) 

6. Control. (1) The march , order of .the regimental or 
column commander prescribes the composition of the ad- 
vance guard, initial point, route or zofle. of advance, objective 
of the march, hour it will clear the initial point, distance 
at which the main body will follow, and any special instruc- 
tions required, such as successive terrain features to be 
seized along the route or zone of advance. 

(2) Basing his order upon that of the regimental com- 
mander, the battalion commander prescribes the formation 
of the advance guard, including attached units, and issues 
such instructions concerning security and reconnaissance 
measures and the conduct of the advance as are not covered 
in standing operating procedure. When contact with the 
enemy becomes imminent, he joins the support commander 
to gain first-hand information upon which to base his direc- 
tion of the advance guard action. When the battalion com- 
mander leaves the vicinity of his command post at the head 
of the reserve, he takes with him a radiotelephone and a 
motor messenger for prompt communication with his com- 
mand post and with his companies. When contact becomes 
imminent, he takes his S-3, heavy weapons company com- 
mander, and field artillery liaison officer, if artillery ele- 
ments are with the main body. 

sig 3 61 


e. Reinforcements. The advance guard battalion is usually 
reinforced by elements of the intelligence and reconnaissance 


tO-29 MILES *HE*0 
OP main eoor 

t a R PtAT (RECTI 

%.» MILES ME*0 

zoo ros 

B 200500 1XJ «*° ,NT 13 


i AOV ptv a POINT 



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Figure 6. 

Advance guard battalion in route march 

platoon, the antitank company, the cannon company, and a 
detachment of engineers. Tanks and tank destroyer elements 
may also be attached. Artillery support usually is furnished 



by units with the main body. If the artillery with the main 
body cannot support the advance guard, some artillery is 
attached. The artillery Of the advance guard is located so 
that it can enter action promptly, and so that other elements 
of the advance guard can protect it from surprise enemy 
attacks. The commanders of the advance guard artillery 
and cannon platoon, if attached, march with the advance 
guard commander. Engineer and cannon platoon personnel, 
the antitank platoon leader, or other personnel designated 
by him, and reconnaissance and survey personnel of advance 
guard artillery accompany the leading elements of the 
column. When the advance guard deploys, its artillery oc- 
cupies positions to cover the deployment. (See FMs 6-20, 
7-37, and 7-35.) 

d. Formation. From front to rear the advance guard bat- 
talion is divided usually into a motorized detachment com- 
posed of battalion intelligence personnel or elements of the 
regimental intelligence and reconnaissance platoon, a point, 
an advance party, a support, and a reserve. When contact 
is not imminent and the bulk of the advance guard is able 
to march in route column on a two-way road, its vehicles 
not employed for command, reconnaissance, security, and 
control usually move by short bounds in rear of the foot 
troops of the main body under control of the battalion motor 
transport officer. He maintains communication with the 
battalion commander by voice radio and motor messenger. 
On roads not favorable for passing, vehicles may follow the 
column of advance guard foot troops. 

(1) MOTORIZED ELEMENTS. When under control of 
the advance guard commander, the elements of the regimental 
intelligence and reconnaissance platoon precede the leading 
foot elements by from three to five miles. They halt for ob- 
servation on successive vantage points. Routes leading from 
the flanks as well as from the front are observed. Communi- 
cation with the advance guard commander is maintained by 
voice radio and motor messenger. When the elements of the 
intelligence and reconnaissance^ platoon which precede the 
advance guard operate under regimental control, the advance 
guard commander maintains contact with them, usually by 



a liaison officer. Reconnaissance troop elements under divi- 
sion control may precede the advance guard by 10 to 25 
miles; the infantry motorized reconnaissance elements are 
informed of their presence and iocation. (See FM 7-40.) 

(2) SUPPORT. The support is usually a rifle company. 
It sends forward the advance party. Vehicles of the support, 
when not under battalion control, follow the foot elements 
by bounds. The advance party sends forward a point, the 
leading foot element; the point attacks without hesitation 
enemy forces appearing within effective range. (Seo FM 
7-10.) Motor messengers and supporting weapons may be 
attached to the support. Supporting weapons may include 
heavy machine guns, 81-mm mortars, and antitank guns. 
Foot elements of engineers, or, if engineers are not attached, 
elements of the battalion ammunition and pioneer platoon, 
usually march with the advance party. 

(3) RESERVE. The reserve constitutes the principal 
maneuvering and offensive element of the advance guard 
battalion. The march command post of the battalion is usually 
at or near the head of the reserve. Advance guard artillery 
and cannon company elements follow the reserve by bounds. 

(4) PATROLS. The advance guard sends out foot and 
motorized patrols to the flanks to reconnoiter those points 
which afford extended observation of the main body, or which 
provide concealment for hostile reconnoitering or harassing 
detachments, including armored vehicles. Foot patrols ordi- 
narily are sent out under direction of the support commander, 
either directly from the support or (to points close to the 
route of march) from the advance party. Motorized patrols 
are sent out from the reserve. 

machine-gun platoons of the heavy weapons company furnish 
antiaircraft security for the foot elements of the advance 
guard battalion; caliber .50 machine guns furnish protection 
to motorized elements. Heavy machine guns may be dis- 
tributed throughout the depth of the column, or may furnish 
protection by successive displacement of sections to firing 
positions adjacent to the route of march. Guns are mounted 



in vehicles and manned by minimum operating crews. Air- 
antitank guards occupy successive points near the route of 
march. These guards ale detailed from both the support and 
the reserve. When they fall behind the advancing column, 
they join the tail of the reserve; additional guards are sent 
out as required. Flank patrols also act as air-antitank guards'. 

battalion commander disposes his antitank weapons accord- 
ing to the terrain, the hostile mechanized threat, the location 
of friendly troops, and rates of inarch (foot or motorized). 
Antitank guns may be distributed as follows: 

(a) Guns may be advanced from one suitable firing posi- 
tion to another, so as to afford continuous antimechanized 
protection to the marching column. In such movements, they 
are given priority on roads, and move rapidly to successive 

(b) When such employment is impracticable, as in a 
motorized movement, the guns are distributed in the support 
and reserve so as to afford protection throughout the advance 

e. Operation of advance guard battalion. (1) The ad- 
vance guard battalion accomplishes its mission by recon- 
noitering the terrain to the front and on each side of the 
line of march, overcoming isolated hostile resistance, and pre- 
paring, so far as practicable, the route of advance by removing 
obstacles and by repairing bridges or constructing detours. 
The regimental intelligence and reconnaissance platoon, and 
foot and motor patrols furnish the battalion commander 
prompt information of hostile forces. Aviation may also be 
made available. For short halts, observers from the forward 
elements are sent to nearby points of observation to cover 
the front and flanks. During long halts, units of the support 
occupy critical terrain features controlling the approaches to 
the column. These positions are organized as for a bivouac 
outpost and reconnaissance is initiated. (See par. 110.) 

(2) When contact with the enemy in force becomes immi- 
nent, or when entering the zone of effective hostile artillery 



fire, the support moves forward on a broad front The re- 
serve may be ordered to adopt a partially deployed forma- 
tion. Company vehicles are brought forward and released 
to companies. When the enemy is encountered in sufficient 
strength to justify such action, the support promptly attacks 
or seizes favorable terrain according to the mission assigned 
the advance guard. The battalion commander directs the em- 
ployment of the heavy weapons company and attached units, 
such as cannon company, antitank company, artillery, engi- 
neer, tank, and tank destroyer elements; and informs the 
artillery liaison officer of support desired from available 
artillery in the main body. 

(3) The mission assigned to the advance guard in the 
regimental march order determines the action to be taken 
by the advance guard commander upon encountering strong 
hostile resistance. The advance guard mission may require 
defensive or delaying action against a greatly superior 
force. Usually the mission is aggressive. The attack of an 
advance guard is executed on a broad front, with the bulk 
of the reserve committed to action. It is delivered promptly 
to drive the enemy out of position or seize a terrain feature 
that will cover the deployment of the main body. 

sion. The mission of the flank guard battalion is to protect 
the marching column from ground observation and surprise 
attack from the flank and, in the event of an attack in force, 
to provide the necessary time and space for the development 
of the main body or for Its uninterrupted passage. 

6. Reinforcement. The reinforcements of the flank guard 
battalion may include personnel of the intelligence and re- 
connaissance platoon, a cannon platoon, artillery, engineers, 
tanks, chemical troops, and, when the hostile mechanized 
threat is great, antitank company and tank destroyer ele- 
ments. The employment of these reinforcing units is generally 
the same as the employment of similar units with an advance 
guard. The flank guard battalion may be given special 
material, such as antitank mines and chemical ammunition, 



and the means for constructing obstacles and executing 

c. Operations. On the march the formation of the bat- 
talion and its conduct of antiaircraft security and anti- 
mechanized defense are similar to those of the advance 
guard battalion [par. 99d(5) and (6)]. The flank guard 
battalion employs the necessary patrols and advance, flank, 
and rear guards for its own protection and to give timely 
warning of the approach of hostile forces. It takes advantage 
of terrain features such as stream lines, ridges, and defiles 
on the exposed flank, in establishing road blocks and pre- 
paring demolitions. Its operations are conducted with special 
reference to the routes which favor attack against the flanks 
of the command. When the locality from which an attack is 
expected is well defined, the flank guard battalion occupies 
a position covering the routes of hostile approach until the 
main body has passed and, on completion of its mission, joins 
the rear of the main body. When a route generally parallel 
to the line of march of the main body exists, the battalion 
may move on that route, distributed in detachments over 
sufficient depth to offer resistance at various points. If the 
battalion is motorized, echelons of the battalion may move 
by bounds from one position to another. 

FORCE, a. Mission. A battalion may be employed as the 
rear guard of a retiring force with the mission of protecting 
the main body from harassment and attack. By the success- 
ful execution of this mission the battalion enables the main 
body to avoid battle and regain freedom of action. It must 
execute its mission without help from the main body. 

6. Strength and composition. The rear guard battalion 
should be especially strong in artillery; if acting as rear 
guard of a division, at least a battalion of artillery is usually 
attached. (See FM 6-20.) Cannon company elements are well 
suited as reinforcements. (See FM 7-37.) Antitank elements, 
tanks, engineers, chemical troops, and motor transport for 



foot elements may also be attached. Elements of the regi- 
mental intelligence and reconnaissance platoon may be at- 
tached for employment on reconnaissance and security mis- 
sions; otherwise the battalion commander uses such motor 
transport as is available to organize the necessary motor 
patrols for these missions. A sufficient number of vehicles 
should be made available to the battalion commander for 
placing motorized patrols or detachments on exposed flanks. 

c. Formation. When the distance from the enemy per- 
mits, the rear guard battalion moves in march formation in 
the reverse order of an advance guard battalion. The suc- 
cessive elements, starting with the one nearest the enemy, 
are one or more motor patrols, a rear point, a rear party, 
a support, and a reserve. The support sends out the rear party 
which, in turn, sends out the rear point. The strength of 
each subdivision corresponds, in general, to that in an ad- 
vance guard battalion. When a rear guard battalion moves 
on foot, the motor echelon, moving by short bounds, precedes 
the foot elements of the reserve. The battalion antitank pla- 
toon may be distributed in the column, or disposed with a 
squad moving by bounds on each flank of the rear guard 
to prevent its encirclement by hostile mechanized forces. 
If additional guns are attached, two or more may be placed 
on each flank. (See FM 7-35.) 

d. Operation. (1) The rear guard battalion opens long- 
range fire with its infantry heavy weapons, antitank guns, 
cannon company howitzers, and artillery in order to force 
the enemy to deploy and thus delay him. Antitank guns are 
placed in positions from which they can fire nn hostile ar- 
mored vehicles before those vehicles can disrupt the progrpss 
of the rear guard or break through it and strike the main 
body. Unless the security of the main body requires a defense 
in place, the rear guard hattalion conducts itself as in a 
delaying action on successive positions. (See ch. 10, sec. IV.) 

(2) Engineers, if available, and the ammunition and pio- 
neer platoon are employed to execute demolitions (such as 
the destruction of bridges and roads passing through defiles), 
to construct obstacles, and to keep open routes of withdrawal. 
Chemical troops execute appropriate smoke missions, such 



as the screening of withdrawing elements, and hisrh explo- 
sive mortar fire missions; they are prepared to contaminate 
obstacles and demolitions. 

(3) Antiaircraft security and antimechanized defense are 
conducted as for an advance guard [par. 99d(5) and (6) J. 
All troops must be prepared to lay and remove mines in 
blocking avenues of tank approach. 

conducts an independent march in accordance with the prin- 
ciples and technique prescribed for the regiment. (See FM 
7-40.) The commander of a battalion marching alone details 
the necessary detachments for security. 

a. Strength and composition of advance guard. The ad- 
vance guard usually consists of a rifle company reinforced 
by any or all of the following: 

(1) One squad of the antitank platoon. 

(2) A detachment of the heavy weapons company. 

(3) A detachment of the ammunition and pioneer platoon, 
depending upon the condition of roads and the availability 
of engineers. 

(4) Engineer and intelligence and reconnaissance platoon 
troops, if attached to the battalion. 

b. Formation. The advance guard is organized as a sup- 
port which sends forward an advance party, which in turn 
sends out a point, in the same manner as when the battalion 
is the advance guard of a larger force. The support also 
sends out patrols to operate on a broad front. The battalion 
follows the advance guard at approximately 500 yards, thus 
permitting the main body to effect deployment without 
casualties from enemy machine-gun fire. 

c. Flank security. The battalion secures its flanks by 
flank guards and by the patrols sent out from the advance 
guard. Flank guards seldom exceed the strength of one rifle 
platoon reinforced by a heavy machine-gun platoon, an 81-mm 
mortar section, a squad of the antitank platoon, and a squad 
of the ammunition and pioneer platoon. Such flank guards 



operate in the same manner as do flank guards of larger 

d. Rear guard. When advancing toward the enemy, a rear 
guard seldom exceeds in strength a reinforced rifle platoon 
and may consist of only a rifle squad. It is normally motor- 
ized and follows the motor echelon. In retrograde movements 
it may consist of a rifle company, reinforced as indicated in 
b above. It is formed as a support which sends back a rear 
party, which in turn sends back a rear point. 

103. TRAINING FOR ENDURANCE. Troops must be 
trained to march 20 miles a day for several successive days 
without undue fatigue. Upon occasion troops will be required 
to march as much as 35 miles in 24 hours and arrive at their 
destination fit for combat. In training areas and in rear 
areas of the combat zone, the battalion commander so con- 
ducts training that his unit achieves and maintains a high 
standard of proficiency in marching. For march technique, 
see FM 7-40. 

Section III 

104. NIGHT MARCHES. Night marches are conducted by 
the battalion in accordance with the principles governing 
the regiment. (See FM 7-40.) 

a. Control. (1) To insure maintenance of direction, the 
battalion commander provides guides and route markers 
when these are not provided by higher authority, designates 
the officer to lead the battalion column (s) and employs his 
staff to supervise the march. 

(2) The battalion commander prescribes the countersign 
and the identifying marks to be worn by subordinate com- 
manders, security elements, and messengers. The term coun- 
tersign includes the challenge (when secret) , the password, 
and the reply. The challenge is a word or distinctive sound 
used to cause an unidentified person or party to halt and 
identify himself (itself). The challenge may or may not be 



secret. The word halt is the challenge unless a secret word 
or sound is ordered. The password is a word or distinctive 
sound used as an answer to the challenge and which identifies 
the person or party desiring to pass. The reply is a word or 
distinctive sound used by the challenger in identifying him- 
self to a challenged person or party after receiving the pass- 
word. The password and reply are always secret. (See also 
FM 21-75.) 

b. Security. The strength of an advance guard for the 
battalion during the night march may vary from a rifle 
platoon to a rifle company reinforced with engineers or 
elements of the ammunition and pioneer platoon. Flank and 
rear security detachments are usually smaller than for day 
marches, and consist of rifle units and engineer or pioneer 
elements. The battalion may constitute a security force for 
the regiment or larger unit. 

Section IV 


105. MOTOR MOVEMENTS, a. For details of operation, 
inspection, maintenance, and management of motor transport 
and the training and duties of operating, maintenance, and 
traffic personnel, see AR 850-15, FM 25-10, FM 100-5, TM 
9-2810, TM 21-300, TM 38-250. For general doctrines govern- 
ing shuttling, see FM 100-5. For logistics of motor move- 
ments, see FM 101-10. For details of motor movements of 
the infantry regiment, see FM 7-40. For details of traffic 
control and circulation, see FM 101-15. 

6. Motor movements made by the battalion are governed 
by the principles prescribed for the regiment in FM 7-40. 

c. When entrucking can be accomplished under cover of 
darkness, battalion (and company) entrucking points may be 
used. (See fig.7.) 

d. If a battalion must be entrucked in daylight, vehicles 
should not remain in column on or along the side of a road 
while troops and equipment are being loaded, even if pro- 
tected by natural concealment, hence entrucking areas and 




initial points are designated for companies in order to insure 
orderly loading and movement to the battalion (or regi- 
mental) initial point. (See fig- 8,) Concealment and dis- 
persion are used to afford passive protection during en- 

106. RAIL MOVEMENTS. For general procedure govern- 
ing rail movement, see FM 100-5. For technical and logistical 
data pertaining to rail movements, see FM 101-10. For check 
list for orders and for entraining and detraining tables, see 
FM 101-5. For the general organization, operation, and con- 
trol of rail transportation, see FM 100-10. For details of rail 
movements of a regiment, see FM 7-40. Usually the battalion 
making a rail movement will do so as part of the regiment; 
exceptionally, it will move alone by rail. When the battalion 
moves alone by rail, the duties of the battalion commander 
and his staff are similar to those prescribed for the regi- 
mental commander and staff. (See FM 7-40 and AR 30-945:) : 
For duties and responsibilities of personnel and for reference 
data, see Tvoop Train Commanders Guide, War Department 
Pamphlet No. 20-7. 



Chapter 7 

107. GENERAL. The battalion bivouac area is usually 
selected by the regiment. The distribution of units in the 
area should be made so as to facilitate the succeeding opera- 
tion. For the requirements of bivouac sites, see FMs 7-40 
and 100-5. 

108. QUARTERING PARTY, a. Composition. When the 
battalion is adequately protected by covering forces, a quar- 
tering party is sent forward to select the exact site, if not 
already determined, and to make interior arrangements for 
the bivouac. The quartering party comprises generally — 

(1) A quartering officer, usually the battalion adjutant. 

(2) A guide party from each company of the battalion 
and each attached unit. The party consists of an officer and 
one or two enlisted assistants, depending on the size of the 
unit. The guide party from the heavy weapons company 
should include a member qualified to assist in early recon- 
naissance for security positions. 

(3) When the battalion is operating alone, a medical offi- 
cer, if available. 

b. Duties. (1) The battalion quartering officer with his 
party accompanies the regimental quartering officer and 
operates under the direction of the latter. He subdivides the 
battalion bivouac area and allots space to subordinate units 
and to the battalion command post. When kitchens are re- 
leased from regimental control, he locates them within the 
battalion area; he designates latrine locations as far as 
practicable from all kitchens. Upon the arrival of troops he 
reports to the battalion commander. 

£2) Shortly before the troops are due to arrive, the bat- 
talion quartering officer assembles the company and unit 
representatives at the point where the troops are to leave 
the route of march to enter the bivouac area. Representatives 
meet their units, including vehicles with the motor echelon, 
and without halting the movement, in order to avoid blocking 
roads, lead them to their respective areas. 



(3) When the battalion is operating alone, the quartering 
officer reserves locations for the aid station and the interior 
guard and plans the disposition of the guard. The surgeon 
examines and marks the places for obtaining water for 
drinking and cooking, for bathing, and for washing clothes; 
he makes recommendations concerning the location of kit- 
chens and latrines, and concerning the other details of sani- 
tation. When the guard is detailed, the quartering officer 
sees that it is posted for the interior security and control 
of the area (sentries over water sources and at entrances 
into the area). Unit representatives function as indicated in 
(2) above. The quartering officer prepares a hasty area 
sketch showing the sub-areas and installations for the infor- 
mation of the battalion commander. 

(4) When there is a likelihood of hostile air or mechanized 
attack the quartering officer will include in his reconnais- 
sance the selection of tentative locations for the battalion 
antiaircraft and antimechanized weapons. At the first op- 
portunity he will inform the antitank platoon leader and 
heavy weapons company commander of these tentative loca- 

AREA. a. Security. When the battalion occupies a bivouac 
area within the regimental area, the regimental commander 
usually details the interior guard and coordinates the anti- 
aircraft security and antimechanized defense of the area. 
The battalion commander requires all individuals to dig fox- 
holes for occupancy in case of hostile air or mechanized at- 
tack. He also requires emplacements to be dug for all machine 
guns, mortars, and antitank guns. 

6. Alerts. (1) One officer at the battalion command 
post and at each company command post, and one noncom- 
missioned officer in each platoon are constantly on duty to 
alert the battalion in case of attack. 

(2) The battalion commander instructs all units of the 
battalion as to the action to be taken when alerted. The action 
usually is prescribed in the standing operating procedure 
of the unit. 



c. Signal communication. (1) Communication within the 
battalion bivouac area is usually maintained by foot or motor 
messenger. Units of the battalion establish command posta 
within their respective areas and notify the battalion com- 
mander and their own subordinate units of the location. 
Company messengers, who are familiar with the route to their 
own company command posts, are held readily available at 
the battalion command post. Sound-powered telephones may 
be employed. 

(2) The regimental commander usually maintains commu- 
nication with the battalion by foot and motor messengers; 
wire is not installed unless the length of stay and distance 
between command posts justify it. Eadio is employed only 
when authorized by the regimental commander. 

d. Control and motor elements. Vehicles within the bat- 
talion bivouac area are controlled as directed by the battalion 
commander. They are dispersed, if practicable, with a mini- 
mum of 75 yards between vehicles. Vehicles are parked ir- 
regularly and concealed or camouflaged. At night, each 
vehicle moving within the bivouac area must be preceded by 
two men on foot to prevent running over sleeping personnel. 

(1) Company transport. Company vehicles are usually 
parked in their respective company areas. 

(2) Battalion trains. Kitchen and baggage trucks 
are usually released to companies upon arrival in the bivouac 
area. The battalion section of the ammunition train, if 
present, is parked as directed by the battalion commander. 

■The battalion may be detailed as the bivouac outpost of the 
regiment or division, or as part of the division bivouac out- 
post. A bivouac outpost is charged with the protection of the 
bivouac against hostile surprise, annoyance, and observation 
by enemy ground forces. The regimental or higher commander 
designates the outpost sector of responsibilities upon the basis 
of the best available information of likely enemy approach. 
(See FMs 7-40 and 100-5.) 

6. Control. (1) The commander of a battalion assigned 
to outpost duty will receive his instructions from a higher 



commander. These instructions include the designation of the 
outpost line of resistance, the limits (if any) of the battalion 
outpost position or sector, any detached posts to be estab- 
lished, action to be taken if the outpost is attacked in force, 
special reconnaissance to be executed, approaches to be es- 
specially guarded, signal communication to be established, 
and coordination with adjacent units (if any) of the outpost. 

(2) The advance (or rear) guard battalion assigned out- 
post duty may reconnoiter and occupy the outpost position 
under the protection of a march outpost provided by its sup- 
port. The reserve will usually occupy the outpost line of 
resistance. The support will be withdrawn to become the 
reserve of the outpost battalion when occupation of the out- 
post line of resistance is complete. 

e. Strength and composition. A battalion detailed as a 
bivouac outpost is ordinarily reinforced by the attachment 
of antitank and cannon company elements. Its defense may be 
supplemented by the employment of engineers, or the mine 
platoon of the antitank company, for construction of mine 
fields and other obstacles. Artillery support for the outpost 
usually is provided by artillery with the main body at the 
rate of one battalion of light artillery per infantry battalion 
of the outpost. If the outpost is operating at such distance 
from the main body that it cannot be supported by the ar- 
tillery with the main body, necessary artillery should be 
attached. Elements of the regimental intelligence and recon- 
naissance platoon, as well as additional vehicles, may be 
attached to the battalion to be used for distant patrolling. 

d. Organization. (1) The elements of an outpost battalion 
from front to rear are: motorized detachments or patrols, 
outguards, supports, and a reserve. 

(2) The outpost line of resistance is subdivided into sup- 
port areas. Supports are numbered from right to left; they 
vary in size from a rifle platoon to a rifle company and are 
reinforced by attached heavy weapons and antitank guns. 
Supports organize and occupy all-around defense areas. Small 
groups (outguards) are posted by the supports to maintain 
observation over the support sector. 



(3) The size of the reserve depends on the width of the 
outpost sector and the mission. If the mission is delay, only 
a small reserve need be held out. If the mission is to hold 
the outpost line of resistance, a larger reserve is designated. 
The reserve usually will not exceed a rifle company. 

(4) Some heavy machine guns usually will be attached to 
the supports. (See FM 7-15.) Heavy machine guns given 
the primary mission of antiaircraft defense during daylight 
hours usually remain under control of the outpost com- 
mander. Such guns may be moved and attached to supports 
at night or during periods of reduced visibility. 81-mm mor- 
tars are emplaced to fire in support of the outpost line of 
resistance (line of supports). Artillery defensive fires are 
prepared. Antitank guns are disposed to cover approaches to 
the outpost position; guns with the reserve may be held 
mobile prepared to move rapidly to any one of several previ- 
ously reconnoitered and prepared positions. Mines, if made 
available, as well as other obstacles, may be installed. The bat- 
talion commander maintains communication with the sup- 
ports by wire, voice radio, and messenger. 

(5) Patrols cover the foreground of the position and the 
intervals between the supports. Distant patrolling is con- 
ducted in accordance with instructions from higher head- 

(6) Company vehicles are with the outpost. When not 
making deliveries to forward areas, kitchen and baggage 
trucks and the battalion ammunition train usually remain 
with the regimental trains. 

talion bivouacs alone, the battalion commander details the 
bivouac outpost and interior guard. He prescribes the neces- 
sary measures for antiaircraft security and antimechanized 
defense, and for the local protection of the battalion trains 
and the command post against attacks by small groups of the 
enemy who succeed in infiltrating the bivouac outpost. 

a. Bivouac outpost. The bivouac outpost may consist of 
one rifle company and attached supporting weapons, or of 
parts of the several companies, assigned sectors in accordance 



with their positions in the bivouac area. The outpost com- 
mander, detailed by name if troops from more than one 
company participate, is responsible for the all-around pro- 
tection of the bivouac area. The outpost covers approaches 
to the area by locating detachments at critical points, es- 
tablishing road blocks, and by patrolling. It normally does not 
hold out a reserve. Sufficient force for necessary patrols may 
be centrally located or the detachments may he required to 
do the necessary patrolling. Ordinarily the antitank platoon 
and not more than one platoon of heavy machine guns are 
attached to the bivouac .outpost. The bivouac is so organized 
that in the event of attack, defensive positions may be manned 
with the minimum delay and confusion. Communication within 
the outpost may be made by wire, voice radio, and messen- 

b. Antiaircraft security. All heavy machine guns not at- 
tached to the outpost are employed for the antiaircraft pro- 
tection of the bivouac area. The guns are emplaced in open 
spaces on high ground around the perimeter of the bivouac 
area. All guns are carefully camouflaged. 

c. Antimechanized defense. The antitank platoon, when 
attached to the bivouac outpost, may be employed to assist in 
establishing road blocks, and to cover by fire likely approach- 
es for hostile armored vehicles. Rocket teams cover approach- 
es not covered by antitank guns. Exceptionally, the lack of 
enough guns to provide adequate all-around protection may 
require that the platoon be held mobile ready to occupy pre- 
pared firing positions. Mines, if made available, as well a3 
other obstacles, may be installed. 



Chapter 8 

Section I 

112. REFERENCES. For fundamental doctrines of offen- 
sive combat, see FMs 100-5 and 7-40. For tactics of the rifle 
company and heavy weapons company, see FMs 7-10 and 7-15. 
For tactics of the battalion antitank platoon and the anti- 
tank company, and details of antimechanized defense, see 
FMs 5-30 and 7-35. 

Section II 

113. GENERAL, a. The approach march formation con- 
sists of small columns — squad, section or platoon — distributed 
in some depth and on a broad front; it is in effect a partial 
deployment. (See FM 22-5.) The approach march begins 
when the unit is forced off the roads by distant shelling, 
strafing, or the threat of these; and ends when the leading 
echelon crosses the line of departure or comes under effec- 
tive small-arms fire. The battalion ordinarily initiates the 
approach march upon receipt of a development order from the 
regimental commander. (See FM 7-40.) However, when nec- 
essary to reduce losses from artillery or air attack, battal- 
ion commanders promptly initiate the development of their 
own units. The commander of an advance, flank, or rear 
guard battalion also initiates its development when neces- 
sary to increase readiness for action. 

b. The approach march of a leading battalion by day is 
described in paragraphs 114 to 123, inclusive. The conduct 
Of the approach march of a battalion in rear of the leading 
echelon of the regiment is described in paragraph 124. The 
conduct of a night approach march is described in para- 
graph 125. 



ing upon his knowledge of the situation, the opportunity for 
prior reconnaissance, and the instructions received from the 
regimental commander, the battalion commander initially may 
issue complete instructions for the movement of the battal- 
ion to a final march objective, or he may issue partial in- 
structions and supplement these instructions by fragmentary 
orders as the approach march progresses. The following out- 
line indicates the matter, when appropriate, to be included 
in the battalion order: 


1. Information of the enemy and friendly troops. 

2. Mission (s) and general plan of the battalion. 

a. Battalion assembly area (position) or other final 
march objective. 

6. Battalion zone of advance, or frontages and directions 
of advance for subordinate units. 

c. Phase lines (successive march objectives) and hours 
or conditions for continuing the march beyond each of 
these lines, or instructions for periodic reports of pro- 

d. Formation, designation of base company (if any), 
distance between successive echelons. 

3. Instructions for subordinate units. 

a. Special instructions for leading company or com- 
panies, antitank weapons, heavy machine guns (in- 
cluding antiaircraft defense), and ammunition and 
pioneer platoon. 

6. General instructions for reconnaissance, security, and 
contact (connecting groups). 

4. Instructions for control of motor transport (whether 
company vehicles are to be retained under battalion con- 
trol or released to companies), route and method of 
movement of vehicles retained under battalion control. 

5. Communication instructions. 

a. Index to signal operations instructions in effect. 



b. Restrictions, if any, on use of radio, 
.c. Special pyrotechnic signals. 

d. Location of march command post or its axis of ad- 

mental development order usually prescribes a zone of ad- 
vance for the battalion. (See FM 7-40.) The battalion com- 
mander announces it in his field order by designating easily 
distinguished terrain features along the boundaries of the 

b. The battalion commander normally prescribes a frontage 
and direction of advance for subordinate units in order to 
regulate and control their movements; exceptionally, he may 
prescribe a boundary between leading rifle companies. He 
prescribes direction in terms of march objectives, a magnetic 
azimuth, or both. He may designate a rifle company as a 
base company on which other units guide; this designation 
ends at the line of departure. 

march objective is a recognizable terrain feature toward which 
a march is directed. Frequently, high ground, road junctions, 
structures, and like features identify usable march objectives. 
A phase line is a line generally perpendicular to the direction 
of advance and passing through the march objectives of 
several columns marching generally abreast. Usually, columns 
will be directed not to proceed beyond a given phase line 
until a specified hour, except on orders, or until the occur- 
rence of a particular event. Thus, the phase line constitutes 
a means of control for the higher commander. 

b. Distances between phase lines will depend largely upon 
the character of the terrain and conditions of visibility; to a 
lesser extent they depend upon the imminence of contact with 
the enemy. When contact with strong forces is imminent, the 
battalion must be able to protect, with its supporting weap- 
ons, the advance of its security elements to the next phase 
line. Hence, in open country, under conditions of normal visi- 
bility, phase lines may be from 1,000 to 2,000 yards apart; 



when the terrain or visibility limits the observation of sup- 
porting weapons, phase lines should be closer together. When 
contact with strong forces is not imminent, phase lines in 
open country may be several miles apart. 

c. When phase lines are not prescribed by the regimental 
development order, the battalion may be required to report 
its progress at stated times or time intervals. In such case 
the battalion commander may prescribe phase lines on his 
own initiative, or require reports of progress from his sub- 
ordinate units. When phase lines are prescribed by the regi- 
mental order, the battalion commander may designate inter- 
mediate phase lines if required by conditions of the terrain or 
poor visibility. However, when the advance is made in a zone 
of normal width, with good visibility, in open terrain, inter- 
mediate phase lines need not be employed as long as the bat- 
talion commander is able to observe and control the movement 
or action while advancing generally abreast of his leading 

117. FORMATIONS, a. The formation adopted will depend 
upon the terrain, the width of the zone of advance, and wheth- 
er the flanks are exposed or are protected by adjacent unit3. 
A formation with one rifle company in the leading echelon, 
one echeloned to the right rear and one to the left rear is 
a suitable formation when neither flank is secure or when 
the situation indicates that prompt enveloping action toward 
either flank may be required. A formation with two rifle 
companies in the leading echelon and one in the following 
echelon is appropriate when the zone of advance is too wide 
or visibility is too restricted for one rifle company to provide 
adequate frontal security across the entire zone. A column 
formation may be employed when the zone of advance is 
narrow and both flanks are secure; if the battalion has an 
exposed flank, security is increased by echeloning the rear 
rifle companies toward that flank. Placing three rifle com- 
panies in the leading echelon is avoided; if, because of the 
width of the zone or limited observation, adequate security 
cannot be provided by two companies, flank patrols may be 
furnished by the company in the rear. ■ 



6. If contact with hostile ground forces is probable durinj 
the march, a machine-gun section (or platoon) and a mortal 
section may be directed to follow and support each leading 
rifle company or may be attached. Heavy machine-gun ele- 
ments on antiaircraft security missions may be distributed 
throughout the width and depth of the formation. In order 
to be immediately available, and to compensate for the diffi- 
culties of hand carry, the heavy weapons company (less de- 
tachments) usually is placed well forward in the formation. 

c. Since the rear of the battalion is protected by regimental 
antitank guns and by those of battalions in rear, the battal- 
ion antitank platoon usually moves between the leading and 
second echelons. Messenger and radio elements of the com- 
munication platoon move with the march command post, 
which is usually with the second echelon. In the absence of 
an engineer reconnaissance detail, a similar detail from 
the ammunition and pioneer platoon may move with the lead- 
ing echelon. The remainder of the battalion headquarters 
company usually moves with the heavy weapons company (less 

d. Distances between echelons will vary from 200 to 500 
yards, depending upon the terrain and conditions of visi- 

118. RECONNAISSANCE, a. Reconnaissance must be time- 
ly, carefully planned, continuous, and progressive, and so con- 
ducted as to take full advantage of concealment and defilade. 
Study of the ground is supplemented by that of observation 
reports, maps, and aerial photographs. Friendly troops to 
the front and on the flanks are valuable sources of infor- 

b. (1) The battalion commander makes a continuing es- 
timate of the situation so that the battalion is at all times pre- 
pared to go into action with minimum delay. He reconnoiters 
the zone of advance for areas exposed to hostile observation, 
gassed areas, and obstacles to motor movement: necessary 
detours; stream crossings; areas where mechanized or air 
attack are most probable and ways of avoiding or protecting 
such areas; favorable routes of approach and tentative firing 



positions for the battalion supporting weapons; and suitable 
locations for successive march objectives. He is assisted in his 
reconnaissance by his staff and by a reconnaissance detail 
from the heavy weapons company, headed either by the com- 
pany commander or by the reconnaissance officer. He may also 
require reconnaissance to be made by the antitank officer, the 
leader of the ammunition and pioneer platoon, and other sub- 

(2) When covering forces to the front are sufficiently 
strong, the battalion commander and his party may precede 
the battalion in order to obtain early information of the 
enemy and plan the attack. 

c. When leading battalions are not adequately covered to 
the front, the regimental intelligence and reconnaissance pla- 
toon, usually under regimental control, operates motorized 
patrols three to five miles ahead of the foot elements. Part 
of the platoon, usually a reconnaissance squad, may be at- 
tached to the battalion when the latter comprises the entire 
leading echelon of the regiment. Instructions of the battalion 
commander to an attached unit of this platoon may include — 

(1) Route or zone of advance and approximate hour the 
leading echelon of the battalion will reach each phase line. 

(2) Areas to be reconnoitered (such as woods, ridge lines, 
defiles, stream crossings) and the essential information to 
be sought, especially concerning obstacles, including mines, 
or other enemy works. 

(3) Arrangements for liaison with friendly units operating 
in front of the battalion. 

(4) Times and places for periodic contacts with the battal- 
ion command post; any special instructions regarding reports. 

(5) Action to be taken when the enemy is first encounter- 
ed; and when he is located in considerable force. 

d. The battalion commander directs the commander (s) of 
the leading company (or companies) as to reconnaissance 
to be made by dismounted patrols. He may augment the pa- 
trols with the battalion intelligence personnel. 



119. SECURITY, a. In addition to the security provided by 
advance motorized elements, the leading echelon provides for 
frontal security of the battalion. It covers its advance with 
scouts and/or patrols. (See PM 7-10.) 

6. When -the battalion is on an exposed flank, a strong 
flank guard is provided; exceptionally, the regimental com- 
mander may assume responsibility for an exposed flank. A 
small patrol from the leading echelon will usually suffice to 
protect an interior flank when the interval between the bat- 
talion and the adjacent unit is small, the terrain open, and 
visibility good. Under less favorable conditions, larger pa- 
trols or detachments (squads or, rarely, platoons) may be 
detailed from supports or reserves with the mission of pro- 
viding security and maintaining contact with adjacent units. 

c. For antiaircraft security, see paragraph 73. Air-anti- 
tank guards are detailed to cover the front, flanks, and rear 
of the battalion. 

d. As far as is consistent with the tactical situation, the 
battalion commander directs the movement of the battalion 
so as to utilize terrain difficult for hostile tank action. The 
location of such terrain is considered in determining phase 
lines. (See par. 116.) Connecting groups and security patrols 
may be reinforced with antitank rifle grenadiers. 

e. (1) The battalion antitank platoon is employed to pro- 
vide frontal and flank antitank protection to the battalion. It 
is usually directed to march and operate as a unit when the 
battalion zone of advance is narrow or when only one flank 
of the battalion is exposed to mechanized attack. Distribution 
by squads is usually essential when an extensive front must 
be covered or when tank attacks against both flanks of the 
battalion are possible. When units of the regimental anti- 
tank company are attached to the leading battalion, they are 
disposed to give depth to antitank defense and to provide ad- 
ditional flank protection. 

(2) When the terrain affords long fields of fire and ob- 
servation to the front and flanks, antitank guns cover the ad- 
vance of the battalion by moving by bounds to successive 
terrain features. Unless a mechanized attack is imminent, 



each gun on completing a bound remains coupled to its - , prime 
mover in a cover position located near a tentative firing posi- 
tion. Ordinarily the antitank weapons are moved by echelon 
so that at least part of them are always prepared for action. 
(See also FM 7-35.) 

120. CONTROL OF MOTOR VEHICLES, a. Upon initiation 
of the approach march, the regimental commander releases 
company transport and battalion ammunition vehicles to the 
leading battalion. The battalion commander releases company 
transport to units unless the situation or terrain conditions 
prohibit vehicles from closely following their units; in this 
event vehicles are moved forward, weapons and an initial sup- 
ply of ammunition are unloaded and carried by hand, and ve- 
hicles revert to battalion control. 

b. Since movement by hand of the 57-mm antitank guns 
is impracticable for extended distances, the vehicles of the 
battalion antitank platoon accompany the unit even if move- 
ment by circuitous covered routes is necessary. 

c. Ordinarily, when other unit transport is retained under 
battalion control, the vehicles of the heavy weapons company 
headquarters and the headquarters truck of each heavy weap- 
ons platoon are released to their units. 

d. Whenever practicable, transport retained under battal- 
ion control follows the battalion by short bounds. Under un- 
favorable conditions, movement by long bounds from cover 
to cover or by circuitous covered routes may be necessary. 

121. SIGNAL COMMUNICATION. Communication is main- 
tained by foot and motor messengers, by visual signals, and 
by radio when not silenced. Wire is not laid until initial 
command and observation posts for the attack are established; 
however, existing commercial wire or abandoned enemy wire 
may be used. In using pyrotechnic signals the possibility of 
disclosing the presence of troops to the enemy must be con- 
sidered, as well as the possibility that he may learn and im- 
itate such signals. 

122. SUPPORTING ARTILLERY. The battalion of light 
artillery which normally supports the infantry regiment is 



usually placed in direct support of the regiment and given 
the mission of delivering the supporting fires desired by the 
leading battalion (s) . An artillery liaison officer with his 
liaison section accompanies the commander of each infantry 
battalion. Artillery forward observers advance with each rifle 
company in the leading echelon. (See also par. 99c.) 

123. CONDUCT OP APPROACH MARCH, a. The units of 
the leading echelon, moving on a broad front, advance ag- 
gressively from one phase line to the next or as directed by 
the battalion commander. By close adherence to the pre- 
scribed direction of advance or by regulation on the base com- 
pany, delays for readjustment are avoided. Minor deviations 
from the prescribed direction of advance are authorized in 
order to take advantage of trails or more favorable terrain. 
Principal roads, important road junctions and crossroads, 
and prominent landmarks likely to be registered on by hostile 
artillery, or which may be under hostile observation, are 
avoided or passed rapidly. 

b. Companies in rear of the leading echelon take advantage 
of concealment and defilade, and where practicable, use trails 
or secondary roads. 

c. The appropriate supporting weapons of the battalion are 
kept in constant readiness for use in defense against hostile 
air and mechanized attacks. They are prepared to render 
prompt support to the leading echelon. When covering forces 
in advance of the battalion are sufficiently strong, heavy ma- 
chine-gun and antitank-gun elements will frequently be sent 
ahead in order to establish antiaircraft security and anti- 
mechanized defense for defiles or for the battalion assembly 
area prior to the arrival of the battalion. When the battalion 
is to relieve or pass through other infantry units, elements 
of the heavy weapons company and the antitank platoon may 
be sent ahead to supplement the covering forces and occupy 
initial firing positions for the attack prior to the arrival 
of the rifle companies. 

d. Regular halts are omitted. Such halts as are necessary 
to rest or reorganize the troops are made on phase lines or at 
the times when periodic reports of progress are made. (See 



par. 116.) Higher commanders provide for long halts as indi- 
cated by the situation, indicating the probable length when 
known; and when such a halt is made, a march outpost is es- 
tablished by the leading battalion. 

e. The actions of the leading battalion upon encountering 
the enemy are similar to those prescribed for an advance 
guard battalion in paragraph 99e. 

IONS. A battalion in rear of the leading echelon of a regi- 
ment seeks maximum concealment, but maintains itself in a 
state of readiness for action. Except for variations noted be- 
low, the principles enunciated in the preceding paragraphs are 
equally applicable to a battalion not in the leading echelon. 

a. Distribution of troops. The heavy weapons company 
(leas machine-gun elements providing antiaircraft security to 
rear elements of the battalion) may move in the leading 
echelon in order to establish early protection for the battalion 
when it halts on phase lines or occupies an assembly area. 

6. Route of advance. As in the case of leading battalions, 
principal roads and prominent landmarks are avoided or 
passed rapidly. Greater advantage is taken of paths and 
trails. Movement is directed along the edges of woods and 
cultivated fields arid along the sides of ravines or hills to 
make concealment and progress easier. 

e. Contact. The battalions maintain contact with the lead- 
ing battalion by means of connecting groups; a liaison offi- 
cer provided with radio communication may also be used. 

d. Motor vehicles. The motor elements of the battalion, less 
those essential for command, reconnaissance, security, and 
control, are grouped in either a battalion or a regimental 
motor serial. The battalion motor transport officer usually 
controls the battalion vehicles. 

e. Command post. The march command post moves with 
the leading echelon. 



125. NIGHT APPROACH MARCH. To avoid observation 
by the enemy, and to promote secrecy of movement and sur- 
prise, the approach march is made by night when practic- 
able. (See FM 7-40.) It must be protected by adequate cover- 
ing forces. The procedure, except as noted below, is as pre- 
scribed for night marches in chapter 6. 

a. Reconnaissance. When practicable, the battalion com- 
mander conducts a daylight reconnaissance of the route of 
march and of the battalion assembly area or other final march 
objective. When practicable, he takes with him company 
guides who will conduct the companies from their point of 
release from the battalion column to their respective loca- 
tions on the final march objective. 

6. Orders of battalion commander. The battalion com- 
mander's order includes the following: 

(1) The latest information relative to the enemy and 
friendly troops, including the security force. 

(2) March objective. 

(3) Route. 

(4) Initial point. 

(5) Time head of leading unit passes initial point. 

(6) Formation of the battalion and distribution of troops. 

(7) Special measures prescribed for security, secrecy, and 

(8) Instructions concerning point of release of companies 
from battalion column, when this can be foreseen. 

(9) Instructions as to dispositions and security measures 
to be taken upon arrival at the final march objective or 
when and where such instructions will be issued. 

(10) Instructions relative to company transport and bat- 
talion train. 

(11) Instructions for signal communication, including lo- 
cation of march command post or its axis of advance. 

c. Distribution of troops. Usually the foot elements of the 
battalion are marched in column without distance. With the 
exception of the vehicles needed for command and control 



purposes, transport is held in a concealed area and moved 
forward so as to arrive at the final march objective shortly 
after the foot elements arrive. The battalion antitank pla- 
toon usually moves with the battalion motor serial. It may 
move as a unit or be distributed in the motor column by 
squads. (See e below.) 

d: Control. The success of a night approach march depends 
in great measure upon the forethought exercised to insure 
control. Distances between phase lines, when these are used, 
are closer than by day. These result in shorter successive 
bounds. Routes are carefully marked. At the final march ob- 
jective, guides are provided and active supervision exer- 
cised by the battalion commander and his staff, in order 
to insure that units move to their assigned locations without 

e. Security. If practicable, contact is gained before dark 
with the security force covering the march objective and its 
dispositions made known to all elements of the battalion. The 
antitank platoon, or elements thereof, may form part of a 
motorized detachment sent ahead to block possible avenues of 
tank approach which threaten the foot echelon of the bat- 
talion. In some situations a motorized detachment, including 
antitank guns and heavy weapons, may be sent ahead of the 
battalion to outpost the assembly area or other battalion 
inarch objective. For other security measures in a night 
march, see chapter 6. 

/. Signal communication. Chief reliance for signal com- 
munication is placed on foot messengers. Radios normaUy 
are silenced. Pyrotechnic or other visual signals, and sound 
signals when close to the enemy, are prohibited except in an 
emergency following certain discovery of the movement by 
the enemy. Some use may be made of motor messengers, 
particularly - between battalion and regimental command 


Section III 


126. GENERAL, a. When the battalion is an advance guard 
or the leading unit in an approach march not protected by 
friendly forces to the front, it may go into action directly 
from the approach march. When practicable, however, the 
battalion interrupts its approach march to occupy an assembly 
area preliminary to deployment for attack. In the assembly 
area the attack is organized; equipment not essential to 
combat is discarded; any company vehicles under battalion 
control are released to company control; and extra ammuni- 
tion is issued to rifle companies. (See par. 92.) Reconnais- 
sance and plans for the attack are completed and attack 
orders issued, while the troops are in their assembly areas. 

b. (1) When the attack is to be launched approximately 
at dawn, the battalion may be rested in a rear assembly area 
and conducted under cover of darkness to a final assembly 
area. (See par. 125.) Movement to the final assembly area 
is made at such time as will insure complete and coordinated 
dispositions for the attack. The utmost precautions must be 
taken to preserve secrecy. 

(2) If the rear assembly area is less than one hour's march 
from the line of departure, companies usually move directly 
to their attack positions without halting in a final assembly 


a. The battalion assembly area usually is designated by the 
regimental commander; exceptionally, it is selected by the 
battalion commander. 

b. Except when a rear assembly area is occupied prepara- 
tory to an attack at dawn, the assembly area should be the 
most forward locality in rear of the line of departure which 
affords cover from small-arms fire and concealment from 
hostile air and ground observation. It should be sufficently 
large to permit dispersing all elements of the battalion. Ter- 
rain is desirable which possesses all-round observation on or 

BIO 4 



near the perimeter of the area, turn-arounds for motor ve- 
hicles, and natural protection against mechanized attack. 

SEMBLY AREA. a. The regiment may send a quartering 
party, which includes the battalion quartering party, to the 
assembly area. (See FM 7-40.) Composition and operation of 
the battalion quartering party are generally the same as for 
movement into a bivouac. (See par. 108.) 

6. When time permits, the battalion commander precedes 
his battalion to its assembly area in order to reconnoiter the 
area and approve the allotments of space made by the quar- 
tering officer, or direct the necessary changes. When time 
prior to the attack is short, the battalion commander will 
usually be engaged in reconnaissance and preparation of 
plans for the attack while the assembly area is being recon- 
noitered; when this is the case, he subsequently informs the 
quartering officer of his contemplated formation for the at- 
tack, and any desired arrangement of units within the as- 
sembly area. 

c. So far as practicable, units are placed in the assembly 
area to conform to their prospective employment in order to 
facilitate their forward movement to attack positions. Due 
consideration also is given to concealment and dispersion of 
troops and transport. 

d. All elements of the battalion move directly to their desig- 
nated positions in the assembly area without pausing. Con- 
gestion is avoided. 

129. SECURITY, a. Each battalion commander is respon- 
sible for the local security of his battalion, including the es- 
tablishment of an air-antitank warning system. (See par. 70.) 
The regimental commander will coordinate the security 
measures taken by the battalion commanders and have the ad- 
vance guard or leading battalion establish an outpost to pro- 
tect the assembly position of the regiment. 

6. The occupation of a battalion assembly area is protected 
by elements of its leading rifle company (or companies) , Each 



company in the assembly area is responsible for its own local 

c. The battalion commander should direct that part or all 
of the heavy machine guns occupy positions to provide anti- 
aircraft security and local security to the assembly area. Po- 
sitions which afford all-around fire are sought on or near the 
perimeter of the assembly area. Any heavy machine guns not 
employed on antiaircraft security missions and the 81-mm 
mortars may be emplaced to support the action of the cover- 
ing force, outpost, or local security detachments. 

d. The battalion antitank platoon may participate in per- 
imeter defense of the regimental area with the platoons of 
the other battalions and the antitank company. In such cases, 
it will ordinarily occupy that portion of the perimeter per- 
taining to its own battalion. When the battalion is assigned 
the outpost mission, the antitank platoon is employed as in 
the bivouac outpost mission. (See par. 110.) When the bat- 
talion assembly area is separated from that of the regiment, 
and the battalion is not assigned the outpost mission, the 
platoon will usually occupy one or more firing position areas 
and provide local antimechanized protection for the battal- 
ion. Mines may be used. (See FM 7-35.) 

e. Instructions for the antitank platoon, for heavy machine 
guns employed for antiaircraft security, and for local secur- 
ity elements, are issued in time for these elements to move to 
positions directly from the approach march without halting 
in the assembly area. 

/. During occupation of an assembly area, elements of the 
cannon company may be attached to, or placed in close sup- 
port of the covering force; the remainder of the company is 
usually assigned the mission of supplementing the antimech- 
anized defense of the area. Ordinarily, not more than one 
cannon platoon is attached to a battalion executing a cover- 
ing mission. (See FM 7-37.) 

g. If the occupation of the assembly area is to continue from 
daylight into darkness, plans are made in daylight for chang- 
es in the positions of weapons or local security detachments 



to be effected at dark. If practicable, and desirable for reas- 
ons of security, the battalion commander should request au- 
thority to move the entire battalion shortly after dark to a 
new assembly area located at least %-mile from the area 
occupied in daylight. 

Section IT 

130. GENERAL. The battalion ordinarily attacks as part 
of the regiment. The regimental attack order assigns each 
battalion in the attacking echelon a mission (usually the cap- 
ture of a terrain objective which is furnishing the enemy his 
observation), designates its zone of action or frontage, indi- 
cates supporting (or attached) units, prescribes a line of 
departure, and usually fixes the time of attack. Intermediate 
terrain objectives may be prescribed. (See FMs 7-40, 100-5.) 

131. TYPES OF ATTACK, a. Meeting engagements. A 
meeting engagement is a collision between two opposing forces 
neither of which is fully prepared for combat. The time ele- 
ment is usually vital and the force which attacks first in a de- 
cisive direction will gain tremendous advantage. Battalion 
commanders are frequently directed to continue the movement 
of their battalions toward a prescribed area(s) while they 
report for orders. Commanders of battalions already engaged 
habitually remain with their battalions and send a staff offi- 
cer to receive such orders. Following receipt of the order, 
reconnaissance must be limited to essentials, decisions reached 
promptly, and orders to subordinates issued by the most ex- 
peditious means. The control of supporting weapons is fre- 
quently decentralized. At the outset, a meeting engagement 
is a piecemeal attack, units being given missions and com- 
mitted to action, as they become available. Speed in launching 
the attack and rapidity of action are more vital at this stage 
than thoroughly coordinated and powerful fire support; how- 
ever, the battalion commander must attain this coordination 
gradually as the action progresses, developing his fires to 



support the hastily-adopted plan of maneuver. For the con- 
duct of an advance guard battalion in a meeting engagement, 
see chapter 6. 

6. Attack against discontinuous resistance. Hostile secur- 
ity elements may occupy positions for discontinuous resistance 
whose extent, strength, and flanks are not easy to de- 
termine. Such discontinuous resistance may be encountered 
by an advance guard battalion, by leading battalions in an 
approach march, or by battalions engaged in pursuit. Maneu- 
ver by the leading elements, rather than the organization of 
a powerful attack, is relied upon to reduce such resistance. 
Infiltration of small groups along covered approaches and 
the continued advance of elements which encounter no re- 
sistance will outflank isolated detachments and usually bring 
about their withdrawal. Hostile elements continuing to resist 
are reduced by envelopment or by combined frontal and flank- 
ing action. 

c. Attack against an organized position. Thorough coordi- 
nation and the development of great fire power in the initial 
stages are required when the enemy has prepared and organ- 
ized his position. Tank support may be used if the situation 
permits. The delays required for preparing and coordinating 
the attack of such a position will vary with the degree to 
which the enemy has been able to organize his defense; 
against a highly organized position they may be considerable. 
Preparations must be made as rapidly as is consistent with 
thoroughness in order to reduce to the minimum the time 
available to the defender for improving his defenses. 

132. METHOD OF ATTACK, a. Whether an attack is the 
result of a meeting engagement, is directed against discontin- 
uous resistance, or is a deliberate attack against an organized 
position, its conduct is essentially the same. Differences exist 
mainly in the coordination and speed characterizing the early 

6. In daylight, the battalion attacks by combining fire and 
maneuver to close with the enemy and then by employing 
shock action completes his destruction or capture. Fire weak- 
ens the enemy by inflicting casualties and neutralizes his ele- 
ments by forcing them to take cover; in the presence of the 



enemy, fire must be used to protect all movements not masked 
by cover, or by fog, smoke, or other conditions of reduced visi- 
bility. Through maneuver, the battalion increases its fire 
effect by decreasing the range and by placing elements in 
positions on the hostile flank from which they can develop 
convergent fires; by maneuver, also, the battalion advances 
its attacking echelon close enough to the hostile position to 
permit the assault to be made with hand grenades and the 

c. There are two forms of attack maneuver; the envelop- 
ment and the penetration. (See FM 100-5.) Best results are 
usually obtained by envelopment. However, in the initial 
stages of an attack against a hostile position, it is seldom 
possible for the main attack of the battalion to be directed so 
as to pass the flank of the hostile position and strike its flank 
and rear, unless the battalion is acting alone or is on an ex- 
terior flank of a larger force. An interior battalion must 
usually make what is essentially a frontal attack; however, 
it endeavors to combine flanking with frontal action by ef- 
fecting a penetration. The penetration secures positions from 
which flanking fire of light machine guns and other flat-tra- 
jectory weapons can be placed on the newly-created flanks of 
hostile elements still resisting, or from which attacks of sup- 
ports and reserves can be directed against the hostile flank 
or rear. 

d. The cover from fire, and concealment from observation 
afforded by the terrain will seldom be uniform in all parts of 
the battalion zone of action, nor will the available supporting 
fires normally be sufficient to neutralize at one time all the 
hostile forces opposing the advance of the battalion. The bat- 
talion commander's plan, therefore, must provide for a con- 
centration of effort for the purpose of advancing a portion of 
the attacking echelon toward objectives whose capture will 
facilitate the advance of the remainder of the battalion. This 
constitutes the main attack. It is usually made through the 
weakest part of the hostile dispositions, that is, in terrain 
where the defender cannot use his weapons or obstacles, in- 
cluding mines, to advantage, where covered approaches per- 
mit an advance close to his position, or where his defensive 



works are exposed to observation and fire by the attacker. 
The main attack may be made in conjunction with a secondary 
attack in order to force the defender to disperse his efforts so 
that he cannot use his full defensive strength against one por- 
tion of the attacking echelon. In attack orders, however, the 
battalion commander does not distinguish between nor use 
the terms "main attack" and "secondary attack." 

e. To increase the power of the main attack, the battalion 
commander concentrates the bulk of his supporting fires on 
those targets whose destruction or neutralization will most 
effectively assist its advance. (See FM 7-15.) The power of 
the main attack may also be increased by assigning to it a 
narrower zone of action than that assigned to the secondary 

/. The secondary attack is designed to hold the enemy in 
position, to deceive him as to where the main attack is being 
made, to prevent him from reinforcing the elements opposing 
the main attack, and to cause him to commit his reserves 
prematurely and at an indecisive location. Since these pur- 
poses can best be accomplished by a vigorous advance, the 
unit making the secondary attack is assigned an appropriate 
terrain objective, and required to attack this objective with 
all the means at its disposal. Exceptionally, it may be given 
the mission of using its fire power, without maneuver, in sup- 
port of the main attack, but this is done only when its depar- 
ture position lies within effective range of its objective, and 
when its zone of action is so lacking in cover that its initial 
advance depends upon the capture of a terrain feature by the 
main attack. When assigned such an initial mission, the sec- 
ondary attack advances as soon as it is able to maneuver ele- 
ments in rear of the main attack so as to facilitate its own 



Section Y 


133. RECONNAISSANCE. Upon receipt of the regimental 
attack order, the battalion commander conducts reconnais- 
sance, formulates the battalion plan, and prepares to issue 
his attack order. (See PM 7-40.) He conducts his personal 
reconnaissance, and directs that of his staff, so as to obtain 
information of the following: 

a. The battalion objective (s), line of departure, and zone 
of action. 

b. Key points and areas occupied or likely to be occupied 
by the enemy. 

c. Areas swept or likely to be swept by hostile flat-tra- 
jectory fire and/or which are under enemy observation. 

d. Location, extent, and type of natural and artificial ob- 
stacles, especially mined or gassed areas. 

e. Location, nature, and extent of favorable avenues of ap- 
proach to the hostile position (areas where the defender's 
observation and fire and use of tanks and mine fields are re- 
stricted by the nature of the terrain). 

/. Location of suitable company objectives. 

g. Location of any friendly units through which the bat- 
talion is to pass and determination of assistance that may be 
expected from them. 

h. Location of suitable position areas and targets for sup- 
porting weapons. 

i. Determination of the extent to which the battalion flanks 
will be protected initially by the location of adjacent units 
and the nature of the intervening terrain. 

j. Suitable locations for the reserve, for supply and evacu- 
ation facilities, and for the battalion observation and com- 
mand posts. 

k. Location of likely avenues for hostile tank attack. 



134. FORMULATION OF PLAN. Based on the informa- 
tion secured by reconnaissance, the battalion commander de- 
cides how best to employ the elements of his battalion 
and attached or supporting units in order to accomplish 
his mission promptly and with the fewest casualties. He 
makes any necessary adjustments in his tentative plan of at- 
tack. His final plan of attack must insure maximum team- 
work between the attacking rifle elements and the supporting 
weapons. It consists of two main parts, the plan of maneuver 
and the plan of supporting fires. (See fig. 9 0.) In addition, 
it covers the administrative details of supply and evacuation, 
and the establishment of the signal communication system 
necessary for control. 

135. PLAN OF MANEUVER. The battalion commander's 
plan of maneuver is his plan for employing his rifle com- 
panies to accomplish his mission. It includes determination of 
company objectives; where and in what direction the main 
and secondary attacks are to be made; zones of action of the 
attacking rifle companies; formation of the battalion; compo- 
sition, location, and employment of reserves; use of tanks, if 
attached (see par. 1426) ; security measures initially neces- 
sary; and the time of attack. Tentative plans for the defense 
of the objective, when taken, should also be made. 

a. Objectives. (1) The regimental attack order directs 
each leading battalion to capture a terrain objective or a suc- 
cession of terrain objectives. (See FM 7-40.) The objective 
assigned to the battalion (or the initial objective where more 
than one is assigned) may be located so far in rear of the 
hostile main line of resistance that the assignment of por- 
tions of this objective as initial objectives for leading rifle 
companies would result in the attack breaking down into sep- 
arate, uncoordinated attacks by isolated companies. To pre- 
vent this, the battalion commander selects intermediate ter- 
rain features and assigns them as successive objectives to his 
attacking rifle companies. 

(2) Suitable successive objectives for the main attack are 
those terrain features whose capture will make untenable 
nearby portions of the enemy position or which will facilitate 



flanking or enveloping action against them. The first of 
these successive objectives, which should constitute the initial 
battalion objective, is usually the first critical terrain feature 
in rear of that on which the hostile main line of resistance is 

(3) Suitable successive objectives for the secondary attack 
are hostile positions which prevent or impede the advance 
of the main attack, or terrain features on which such hostile 
positions could be established. 

(4) Distances between objectives assigned to attacking 
companies may vary from as little as a few yards in the jun- 
gle to as much as a thousand yards in open terrain. Objec- 
tives should — 

(a) Be easy to recognize on the ground. 

(b) Be visible from the line of departure or previous ob- 
jective whenever practicable. Suitable objectives for the com- 
pany making the main attack may, however, lie beyond and be 
masked by terrain occupied by hostile forward groups. Also 
an objective may not be visible because of intervening woods 
used as a covered approach by an attacking company. 

(c) Be such that their attainment will promote the ac- 
complishment of the mission of the battalion and facilitate 
probable future action. 

(d) Afford good observation and suitable terrain for fire 
support of a further advance. 

(e) Whenever practicable be within effective range of bat- 
talion supporting weapons located on or in rear of the line of 
departure (or last previous objective). 

(5) Pauses made on objectives short of the initial bat- 
talion objective are limited to those which are imperative for 
reorganization. Support weapons are promptly displaced for- 
ward, by echelon, to insure continuous fire support. 

6. Location of main and secondary attacks. At full 
strength, an interior battalion can deliver a powerful attack 
on a frontage varying from 500 to 1,000 yards; it may be nec- 
cessary to assign a battalion making the secondary attack a 
somewhat broader frontage. Elements of the battalion sel- 



dom extend continuously across this entire zone; parts of the 
zone may be covered by fire, by small patrols, or by both. 

(1) Main attack. Prior to the attack, knowledge of the hos- 
tile dispositions and strength will usually be incomplete, since 
the enemy will seldom disclose his exact strength or disposi- 
tions until forced to do so. The battalion, therefore, primarily 
attacks terrain. The location of the main attack of the bat- 
talion may be prescribed in the regimental order. Otherwise, 
the battalion commander directs his main attack at the weak- 
est part of the hostile position in his zone. (See par. 132c£.) 

(2) Secondary attack. Where the battalion zone is nar- 
row, the unit making the secondary attack may be given all 
of the battalion zone not allocated to the main attack, in order 
to permit maneuver of its elements. In a wide zone a gap 
may be left between the units making the main and secondary 
attacks ; in such a case, the unit making the secondary attack 
is directed to attack in a zone of action which contains the 
best remaining cover and concealment. 

c. Direction of attack. The battalion commander desig- 
nates the direction of attack by magnetic azimuth and, when 
practicable, by successive landmarks. When the main attack 
and secondary attack initially are convergent (for example, 
when the main attack is directed to outflank hostile resistance 
on the initial battalion objective while the secondary attack is 
made frontally), separate directions of attack should be pre- 
scribed for each. Otherwise, only a single direction of attack 
indicating the general direction of advance of the battalion as 
a whole is ordinarily prescribed. 

d. zones of action. (l)Each rifle company in the attack- 
ing echelon is assigned a zone of action. It is responsible for 
driving out or destroying all hostile elements within its zone. 

(2) The battalion commander ordinarily does not designate 
boundaries between companies, but defines their zones of ac- 
tion by assigning each company an area or a section of the 
line of departure from which to start its attack and by estab- 
lishing the lateral limits of its objective (s). If desired, the 
width of the zone may be indicated by directing that the com- 
pany attack on a frontage prescribed in yards. An interior 



company may be assigned a zone of action from 200 to 500 
yards wide. 

(3) Companies habitually remain within the battalion 
boundaries. However, where entry into an adjacent zone is 
necessary, the battalion commander or the company comman- 
der himself if the battalion commander cannot be reached, co- 
ordinates this move with the commander of the adjacent unit. 
Either attacking company is authorized to move elements in 
rear of the adjacent company of its own battalion in order 
to execute a flank attack or place flanking fire on the enemy. 

e.. Attack positions. The regimental attack order may di- 
rect the battalion to attack from a given area or locality; this 
is particularly applicable to an exterior battalion making an 
envelopment. Usually, however, the regimental commander 
prescribes a line of departure. At times a line of departure 
prescribed by the regimental commander may be difficult to 
locate on the ground or be so located that it cannot be reached 
without exposure to hostile observation and fire. Under these 
circumstances the battalion commander should prescribe a 
more suitable line of departure or direct each attacking com- 
pany to launch its attack from a prescribed area; these at- 
tack positions must not be in advance of the line of departure 
prescribed by the regimental commander. 

/. Reserves. (1) Initially, a portion of the rifle strength 
must be held in reserve for exploiting a hostile weakness de- 
veloped by the attacking echelon, striking the final blow nec- 
essary to capture an objective, replacing an exhausted or dis- 
organized part of the attacking echelon, or for repelling 

(2) Depending on available information of the enemy situ- 
ation, the troops available to the commander, the mission, and 
the phase of the attack, the reserve may vary in size from one 
platoon to two companies (see g below). When the reserve 
that ean be held out initially is considered inadequate, the 
battalion commander may require that company commanders 
secure his prior approval before committing their supports. 

(3) The reserve is placed initially in a locality where it is 
afforded protection against hostile observation, flat-trajec- 
tory fire, and air or mechanized attack. It should be able to 



move rapidly to points of possible employment, particularly 
to further the main attack. If the battalion is making an 'en- 
velopment, the reserve usually is disposed toward the outside 
flank so that it may promptly extend or exploit the envelop- 
ment. When the battalion has an exposed flank, the reserve 
should be disposed so that it can move promptly to meet any 
hostile threat that may develop. (See h below.) 

g. Formation. The formation of the battalion is governed 
by the mission, terrain, known enemy dispositions, troops 
available, supporting weapons, and formation ordered by 
higher commanders. Most frequently the battalion comman- 
der will place one rifle company in the main attack, one in 
the secondary attack, and one in battalion reserve. When the 
situation is obscure, the zone of action is narrow, or when the 
battalion is assigned a sector or a flank, both the main and 
secondary attacks may be made by elements of one rifle 
company; the two rifle companies in reserve may be in col- 
umn behind the leading company or echeloned toward an ex- 
posed flank. Exceptionally, when the battalion is making a 
secondary attack on a very broad front, with limited objec- 
tives requiring a short advance, and with hostile resistance 
expected along virtually the entire front, three rifle compan- 
ies may be placed in the attacking echelon and one or two pla- 
toons, from one or two different companies, held in reserve. 

h. Security. (1) Flank, (a) The battalion commander is 
responsible for the close-in protection of his flanks through- 
out the attack irrespective of any flank protective measures 
that may be taken by the regimental commander. Protection 
of an interior flank is usually provided by the presence of the 
adjacent unit if that unit is ahead or generally abreast; it is 
then sufficient to employ a connecting group to maintain con- 
tact with the adjacent unit and to report periodically and at 
any other necessary time, the location of its nearest flank. A 
flank security patrol should be detailed for an exterior flank, 
or for an interior flank when the location of the adjacent 
unit, or the nature of the intervening gap, would permit a 
hostile counterattack to strike the flank of the battalion with- 
out coming under effective fire from the adjacent unit. The 
size of the security elements depends upon the terrain, dis- 



tance to adjacent units, and probable number of messages to 
be sent back; for an interior flank the size will seldom exceed 
one rifle squad. (For the method of operation of connecting 
groups and flank security patrols, see FM 7-10.) All con- 
necting groups and flank security patrols may be furnished 
by the reserve, or they may be furnished for one flank by the 
unit making the secondary attack. Preferably they operate 
directly under the battalion commander; however, the com- 
mander of a reserve company may be made responsible for 
flank security. 

(b) Other measures for providing security on an exposed 
flank may include locating the reserve toward that flank and 
disposing heavy machine guns so that they can cover that 
flank in addition to their other missions. 

(2) Antiaircraft. The battalion commander insures that 
each company details air-antitank guards. For further anti- 
aircraft security measures, see par. 73. 

(3) Antimechanized, (a) The battalion commander em- 
ploys his antitank platoon primarily for the protection of the 
front and flanks of the attacking echelon of the battalion; for 
deeper protection on the flanks, and to the rear, the battalion 
is frequently reinforced by a platoon of the antitank company. 
The battalion commander usually designates an initial firing 
position area for the platoon, or for each squad, from which 
it will protect the attacking echelon by fire in specified di- 
rections of likely enemy mechanized attack. These directions 
are best defined by reference to prominent terrain features 
visible from the firing position area(s). The attack order 
will usually designate the location of at least the next posi- 
tion area(s) to which the platoon is to displace and the time 
at which the displacement is to be effected. The time is usu- 
ally fixed by prescribing that displacement be made immedi- 
ately upon the capture by . the attacking echelon of certain 
specified terrain features. The mission (s) to be accomplished 
in the new location is included. The battalion commander 
may control the opening of fire, or he may delegate such con- 
trol to the antitank platoon leader. This is effected by pre- 
scribing ranges or designating terrain features which hostile 
vehicles are to cross or pass before fire is opened. Opening 



fires are withheld until the target is positively recognized as 
a hostile vehicle and is within effective range. For guns, this 
is ordinarily at a range of 800 yards or less from the gun po- 
sition. For rocket launcher fire, this is 300 yards or less. 

(b) When it is manifestly impossible to foresee the best 
employment of the platoon after displacement from initial 
positions, the platoon or elements thereof may be attached to 
attacking rifle companies or be directed to follow and pro- 
tect them. 

(4) Command post. The battalion commander must insure 
that the command post is provided with adequate local secur- 
ity against attack by hostile patrols, armored vehicles, or air- 
borne troops. For details, see paragraphs 45 and 72. 

i. Time of attack. (1) The time of attack is usually pre- 
scribed by the regimental commander; depending on the in- 
structions received from him, it may be announced as a defin- 
ite hour or subordinate elements may be directed to commence 
the attack on a prescribed signal or at the time a specified 
tactical action occurs. 

(2) When the time of attack must be determined by the 
battalion commander, he allows time for the issue of extra 
ammunition and movement of the battalion to its attack posi- 
tions and also for the necessary reconnaissance, preparation 
of plans, and issuance of orders by himself and his subordi- 
nate leaders when these activities cannot be carried on con- 
currently with the movement. 

(a) The time required to deliver an uncoordinated attack 
may be computed by taking the total of: (i) the time to move 
to attack positions by the nearest covered route, (ii) Time 
length of the column and the time distance of one half the 
attack frontage of the unit, figured at cross-country march- 
ing rates, this being allowed for deployment, (iii) The time 
for issuance of deployment orders and attack orders. 

(b) For a coordinated attack, approximately 30 minutes 
should be added for the reconnaissances, planning, and orders 
of subordinate unit commanders. As a guide, one and one- 
half hours may be taken as a minimum from the beginning 
of the battalion commander's reconnaissance to the hour 
named for a coordinated attack. 



(3) If the battalion commander prescribes a line (or 
areas) of departure in rear of the line of departure set by 
the regimental commander, he must advance the time of at- 
tack sufficiently to insure that his leading elements will cross 
the regimental line of departure at the time prescribed in the 
regimental order. 

136. PLAN OF SUPPORTING FIRES. The plan of sup- 
porting fires must be designed to support the plan of maneu- 
ver and give maximum assistance to the advance of the main 
attack. Therefore the major portion of the available fire sup- 
port is directed initially against the targets' most likely to en- 
danger the main attack, whether they are in its zone of ac- 
tion or in adjacent zones. The plan includes determination of 
the position areas and initial missions or targets for the ma- 
chine gun, mortar, and antitank fires of the battalion, and of 
regimental cannon company and antitank company weapons, 
artillery, tanks, tank destroyers, and chemical units whether 
attached to or supporting the battalion. 

a. Fires of the heavy weapons company. (1) Ordinarily, 
the battalion commander retains control of heavy machine- 
gun and 81-mm mortar units and employs them through 
orders issued to the heavy weapons company commander. The 
battalion commander plans to employ their fires in coordina- 
tion with, and to supplement the fires of, the artillery and the 
regimental and other available supporting units. To effect 
coordination between the various units under his control the 
battalion commander designates the position area to be occu- 
pied by the heavy weapons company or, if practicable, by each 
of its platoons. These position areas and the initial targets or 
fire missions of the company are announced in the battalion 
order. The 81-mm mortars may be emplaced in battery by 
platoon, or distributed by section or squad, and may be em- 
ployed to fire by platoon, section, or squad. Massing of the 
fire of the entire platoon usually calls for massing of the 
mortars themselves to facilitate control. When fragmentary- 
orders are issued to a rifle company commander, information 
of positions and missions of the heavy weapons company 
which will directly affect the rifle company's operations is 



included. Exceptionally, when the nature of the terrain makes 
control extremely difficult, heavy machine-gun and 81-mm 
mortar units may be attached to rifle companies of the at- 
tacking echelon. (For a description of suitable targets for 
the heavy machine gun and 81-mm mortar and for the char- 
acteristics of suitable position areas for heavy weapons units, 
see FM 7-15.) 

(2) Heavy weapons are emplaced initially as close as prac- 
ticable to the line of departure in order to avoid forward dis- 
placement for as long a time as possible. It is desirable for 
the heavy weapons to be able to cover, from their initial posi- 
tions, the advance of the attacking echelon to the initial 
battalion objective. 

6. Fires of the antitank platoon. The antitank platoon is 
assigned firing position areas to cover the important tank 
approaches into the front and flanks of the battalion; other 
antitank fires of the battalion are coordinated with those of 
the antitank platoon. At times, the platoon may be assigned 
targets such as hostile antitank guns and other located crew- 
served weapons, emplacements, pill-boxes, and other point 
targets. Attached antitank company elements may reinforce 
and add depth to the antitank defense of the battalion. 

c. Artillery fires. (1) An artillery battalion usually is 
placed in direct support of the infantry regiment. The infan- 
try regimental commander and the artillery battalion com- 
mander prepare the general plan of artillery fire support. 
This includes the general location and duration of any pre- 
paratory fires to be put down prior to the time of attack, 
the priority in which the artillery is to give support to the 
attacking battalions during the initial stages of the attack, 
and the emergency pyrotechnic signals to be employed in call- 
ing for the placing or lifting of artillery fires. 

(2) The supporting artillery sends a liaison detail, in- 
cluding a liaison officer, to each infantry battalion. (See par. 
21.) The infantry battalion commander and the artillery 
liaison officer prepare the detailed plan of close artillery fire 
support. In accordance with his plan of maneuver the bat- 
talion commander indicates to the liaison officer the exact lo- 
cations on which he desires artillery fire to be placed or for 



which he desires the data to be prepared so that fires may be 
placed upon call. For each location where fire is to be placed, 
the battalion commander indicates the duration and density 
of fire desired and the purpose the fire is intended to accom- 
plish. Where appropriate, he also indicates the sequence in 
which the targets are to be engaged. The liaison officer 
makes the necessary arrangements for securing the fires re- 
quested. An emergency pyrotechnic signal should be prescrib- 
ed to supplement the normal means of communication em- 
ployed by the company commander for fires to be placed or 

(3) For a discussion of the operation of forward observ- 
ers, see paragraphs 21d and e, and FM 6-135. 

d. Cannon company fires. (1) One or more platoons of the 
cannon company may be placed in support of an attacking 
rifle battalion; exceptionally, it may be attached. In either 
case, the platoon leader or his representative remains with the 
battalion commander, who informs him of targets which he 
desires the platoon to engage. Owing to the low muzzle veloc- 
ity and high trajectory of the howitzer, indirect fire is gen- 
erally used; however, direct fire may be used. 

(2) Cannon company weapons are employed primarily to 
destroy or neutralize hostile troops and weapons which at the 
time offer the greatest threat to the accomplishment of the 
battalion mission, and which cannot be engaged as readily by 
the supporting artillery. Exceptionally, they may engage 
area-type targets; however, artillery is usually employed 
against such targets, while cannon company elements are 
employed principally against point targets. Appropriate tar- 
gets for cannon company howitzers are automatic weapons, 
antitank guns, mortars, infantry howitzers, troop concentra- 
tions, road blocks, pillboxes, strongly fortified buildings, and 
armored vehicles. Exceptionally, they may be employed to 
supplement the antimechanized defense of the battalion; the 
cannon platoon leader coordinates with the battalion anti- 
tank platoon leader in this respect. The cannon platoon may 
best be employed during an enemy mechanized attack to 



destroy or neutralize tanks temporarily halted, or accompany- 
ing guns which are supporting advancing tanks. (See FM 

e. Tank fires. When tanks are available to the infantry 
battalion, they may furnish machine-gun, cannon, and mortar 
supporting fires ; they may also reinforce the fires of the field 
artillery. (See par. 137 and FM 17-36.) 

/. Tank destroyer fires. The primary mission of tank de- 
stroyer units is the destruction of hostile tanks by direct gun 
fire. Secondary missions include employment as reinforcing 
artillery, defense of beaches, destruction of pill boxes and 
other permanent fortifications, and direct fire support to as- 
saulting troops. Tank destroyers may be attached to or oper- 
ate in support of infantry units. The battalion commander 
coordinates their fires with those of his other antitank means. 
(See FM 18-5.) 

g. Chemical fires. Chemical troops are attached for special 
operations requiring the use of gas, or the extensive use of 
smoke or high explosive fires beyond the organic means of the 
battalion. The 4.2-inch chemical mortar platoon, with nor- 
mal loads, is equipped to place a smoke screen 800 yards long 
and maintain it under average wind conditions for about 25 
minutes. It can also fire powerful concentrations with high 
explosive shell. Plans for the employment of chemical troops 
should include a study of the position area(s) assigned, the 
location and duration of any high explosive fires and of areas 
to be screened before and at the beginning of the attack, the 
priority in which the chemical unit is to furnish support to 
the attacking companies, and the emergency pyrotechnic sig- 
nals to be used. Smoke may also be furnished by artillery, 
tanks, cannon company units, the mortars and grenades of 
the infantry battalion, and sometimes by aviation. On the bat- 
tlefield, especially when there is little wind, the smoke from 
high explosive shells, demolitions, bangalore torpedoes, and 
engineer snakes, frequently produces a substantial smoke 
screen. In planning to lay smoke, the problems of observation 
required by commanders and forward observers should be 
taken into account. 



h. Aviation. Aviation normally operates against enemy ob- 
jectives that are beyond the immediate interest of infantry 
battalion commanders. However, in a combined air-ground 
effort (see FM 100-20), friendly aviation may, when condi- 
tions demand, be assigned targets close to the infantry front 
lines or contact zone. Such targets must be readily identified 
from the air, and controlled by phase lines or bomb safety 
lines which are set up and rigidly adhered to by both ground 
and air units. When air power is thus applied in the bat- 
talion zone of action, the battalion commander adapts his 
plans to profit by the air effort. Aviation does not operate 
in direct support, nor by attachment. 

137. TANKS. The inclusion of tanks in an operation affects 
both the plan of maneuver and the plan of supporting fires. 

a. A tank battalion may be attached to an infantry regi- 
ment; part of it may in turn be attached to an infantry bat- 
talion or be directed to support its attack. When attached, 
the tank commander becomes a special staff officer, and ad- 
vises the infantry commander of his tanks' capabilities and 
makes appropriate tactical recommendations. 

b. Part of an infantry battalion may be attached to a tank 
battalion for local security and groundholding purposes, par- 
ticularly on distant missions; in such a case, the infantry 
commander becomes a special staff officer of the tank com- 
mander. The attached infantry is moved by trucks when 
available; however, it may be necessary for them to travel on 
the tanks. A tank company can carry 75 to 100 infantrymen; 
six men can ride on the rear deck of a medium tank, and 
four on a light tank. In rear areas more men can ride, when 
rope hand holds are provided. (See FM 17-36.) The infan- 
try dismount prior to the launching of the tank attack. 

c. The chief limitations on the employment of tanks are 
unsuitable terrain, i.e., heavy woods and stumps, steep and 
rocky slopes, deep water courses, and soft ground, especially 
as these are affected by adverse weather and enemy works. 
This dictates thorough reconnaissance. (See par. 133.) Even 
though unsuitable terrain limits the maneuver and shock 
action of tanks, their cannon and machine-gun fire 



power may still be used. Surprise is sometimes gained by 
using relatively unfavorable, yet passable, terrain. It must 
be borne in mind that tanks attract enemy observation by 
their size, the dust they raise, and the noise they make. 

d. Tanks assist the attack of infantry by destroying or 
neutralizing hostile automatic weapons, reserves, counterat- 
tacking troops, artillery, communication and supply installa- 
tions, barbed wire and similar obstacles, and by dominating 
objectives — that is, tanks that have arrived on an objective 
in advance of the infantry move to defilade positions and 
cover the objective by fire, and at the same time protect each 
other from hostile antitank measures — until the infantry's 
attacking echelon arrives and is prepared to defend the po- 

e. Infantry assists tanks by destroying or neutralizing hos- 
tile antitank weapons and tank-hunting teams, locating and 
removing mines and other tank obstacles, seizing ground 
from which tanks may attack, locating defiladed routes of 
advance for tanks, or taking over an objective which the 
tanks have captured or are dominating. Tanks are capable 
of capturing and briefly dominating an objective, but not of 
holding it for a considerable time and organizing it; they 
should be replaced on the objective by infantry as soon as 
possible, and always before nightfall, and ordered back to a 
rallying point for reorganization and servicing. 

/. Unity of command should be clearly prescribed in or- 
ders; command must be assigned to the leader of the unit 
charged with the primary mission. 

pr. For further details, see FMs 7-40 and 17-36. 

138. SUPPLY AND EVACUATION. Before deciding on 
the supply and evacuation details of his plan, the battalion 
commander considers the recommendations of the battalion 
S-4 for the location of the battalion ammunition supply point 
and route of ammunition advance, and the recommendations 
of the battalion surgeon regarding establishment of the bat- 
talion aid station. For further details, see chapters 4 and 5 
and FM 7-30. 



139. SIGNAL COMMUNICATION, a. The initial general 
location of the command post and the axis of its advance 
(axis of signal communication) normally are prescribed by 
the regimental commander. Otherwise, they are determined 
by the battalion commander. The initial location of the com- 
mand post should be as far forward as practicable. For de- 
tails of the establishment and operation of command posts, 
see paragraphs 40 to 42, inclusive. 

6. Communication between the command post and observa- 
tion post ordinarily is established by voice radio and messen- 
ger, and, when practicable, by telephone. The command post 
of the heavy weapons company is located near the battalion 
command post. Communication between the baftalion com- 
mand post and the rifle companies is by messenger, radio, and 
visual signals. Communication between the battalion and reg- 
imental command posts is by radio, telephone, telegraph, and 
messenger (motor or foot). (See also par. 57.) 

140. ATTACK ORDERS, a. It is essential in offensive situa- 
tions that subordinates be informed without delay of plans 
for the employment of their units in order that they may 
have the maximum time available for reconnaissance and 
the preparation of their plans. For this purpose warning and 
fragmentary orders are used freely. 

6. For a discussion of battalion field orders, see paragraph 

c. The following outline indicates the matter, when appro- 
priate, to be included in the battalion order: 


1. a. Information of the enemy. 

6. Information of friendly troops. 

(1) Situation and mission (s) of the regiment and 
adjacent units. 

(2) Suporting fires of artillery, cannon, antitank, 
tank, and aviation units. 

(3) Security elements in vicinity. 

2. Mission (s) and general plan of the battalion. 



a Plan of maneuver including objective (s). 
6. Formation. 

c. Line of departure. 

d. Direction of attack. 

e. Zone of action. 
/. Time of attack. 

3. Instructions to subordinate units. 

a. Specific instructions to each rifle company in attack- 
ing echelon. 

(1) Zone of action. 

(2) Objective (s). 

(3) Security mission (s). 

6. Instructions to the heavy weapons company. 

(1) Plan of supporting fires. 

(2) General position area(s). 

(3) Targets or sectors of fire. 

(4) Conditions or time for opening fire. 

(5) Conditions or time for forward displacement if 
that can be foreseen. 

c. Instructions to the antitank platoon. 

(1) Uncoupling area. 

(2) Firing position area(s). 

(3) Sector of responsibility and principal direction 
of fire. 

(4) Conditions for opening fire. 

(5) If guns are to be held mobile, platoon location 
and mission (s). 

(6) Special instructions concerning coordination with 
other antitank units. 

d. Instructions to the reserve. 

(1) Initial location. 

(2) Contemplated employment, if determined. 

(3) Security or other special missions. 

«. Instructions applicable to more than one unit of the 

(1) Alterations or additions to standing operating 



(2) General security measures. 

(3) Provisions for secrecy. 

4. Administrative instructions and information. 

a. Ammunition supply. 

(1) Initial location of ammunition supply point. 

(2) Route of ammunition advance. 

(3) Alterations or additions to standing operating 
procedure for ammunition supply. 

b. Instructions relative to company transport and the 
battalion train. 

c. Initial location of aid station. 

5. Communication instructions. 

a. Index to signal operations instructions in effect. 

b. Restrictions, if any, on use of radio. 

c. Special pyrotechnic signals. 

d. Locations and times of opening of battalion and com- 
pany command posts; alternate locations of battalion 
command post; location of battalion observation post. 

e. Axis of signal communication. 
/. Location of battalion commander. 

Section TI 

141. FLEXIBILITY, a. An attack seldom progresses exactly 
as planned. The battalion commander should carry out his 
plan vigorously but not adhere to it blindly. He must be alert 
to exploit favorable developments and overcome unforeseen 
obstacles. He gives his main attack all the assistance at his 
command so long as it has a chance of success, but if enemy 
resistance blocks all its efforts to advance, he must be pre- 
pared to shift his main attack to another part of his front 
where hostile weakness has been discovered. 

b. For a schematic representation of a battalion plan of 
attack and supporting fires, and for subsequent maneuver 
in the conduct of the attack, see figure 9 ®, @, (3), @. 


142. LAUNCHING THE ATTACK, a. With combat team 
support. (1) The attack begins when the leading elements of 
companies in the attacking echelon cross the line of departure. 
The battalion commander coordinates the forward movement 
of his units from the assembly area to insure that the lead- 
ing rifle company elements cross the line of departure at the 
prescribed hour and that his supporting weapons oecupy their 
initial positions in time to support the rifle elements. He 
also insures that the movement of the antitank platoon from 
firing position area(s) which were occupied to protect the 
battalion assembly area, to firing position area(s) for the 
attack provides uninterrupted protection for the attacking 
echelon during its movement to its attack positions. 

(2) The heavy weapons commence firing in accordance 
with the battalion plan of supporting fires. The attacking 
echelon crosses the line of departure in deployed formation; 
leading rifle units continue their deployed advance until 
forced to return the hostile fire. The supporting artillery, 
cannon company, heavy weapons, and chemical mortars are 
relied upon initially to gain fire superiority. Rifle fire is 
opened at ranges greater than 500 yards only when other 
available fire support is inadequate; it is conserved for use 
at ranges where riflemen can exert maximum effect. 

6. With tank support. In infantry-tank action, there are 
three initial attack dispositions: infantry-leading, tanks-lead- 
ing, and infantry-tanks-together. Infantry leads initially 
when reconnaissance has revealed hostile antitank strength 
or when the terrain in the direction of desired use is unsuit- 
able for tanks; in this case the tanks support the attack by 
fire, generally from hull defilade positions. Tanks lead ini- 
tially, when suitable terrain is available, in launching an 
attack against a hostile position having little antitank 
strength in terms of antitank guns, tank destroyers, anti- 
tank mines and other obstacles, or when these have been 
neutralized; in this case, elements of the infantry battalion 
follow within supporting distance and aid the tanks by fire 
and maneuver. Often the conditions in these two cases 
will exist in part only, or it can be foreseen that one case or 
the other will exist at the very outset of the attack only. 



Under such circumstances, it will be well to launch the attack 
with both infantry and tanks in the leading wave. The infan- 
try-tanks-together disposition promotes flexibility, as the 
commander can rapidly regroup and redispose elements to 
meet changes in the combat situation. Unity of command in 
the composite waves may be effected by attaching a portion 
of a tank company to each rifle company in the attacking 
echelon. Conditions which may call for infantry-tanks-togeth- 
er initially in the leading wave include close terrain, limited 
visibility, woods traversable by tanks, mopping-up opera- 
tions, and night attacks. (See PM 17-36.) 
143. CONDUCTING THE ATTACK. During the attack the 
battalion commander spends much of his time at successive 
observation posts or with his subordinate units; he is seldom 
at his command post. He keeps his executive officer, who nor- 
mally remains at the command post, informed of his location. 
He must be able to communicate promptly with his command 
post, all company commanders, and supporting or attached 
units. When at an observation post, he usually communicates 
with the command post by telephone, radio, and messengers. 
In addition to personal reconnaissance, he keeps himself in- 
formed of the situation by personal observation and by in- 
formation received from his intelligence personnel and from 
subordinate, higher, and adjacent units. He requires frequent 
combat reports, including special reports upon the capture 
of an objective or when a rifle company commits its support, 
also negative reports, when appropriate. Whenever necessary, 
the battalion commander details a liaison officer to secure 
information from an adjacent battalion. Frequent visits to 
the attacking companies by the battalion commander and 
members of his staff, particularly during critical periods in 
their action, promote teamwork, coordination of effort, and 
confidence. During such visits full information of the situa- 
tion is exchanged. The battalion commander influences the 
action by shifting the fires of his heavy weapons and those 
of any attached weapons ; by requesting that fires of support- 
ing cannon company weapons, artillery, chemical or other 
units either be shifted or render additional assistance; by ar- 
ranging for mutual assistance between his attacking com- 
panies and for cooperative action between them and adjacent 


battalions; by coordinating the action of his units with that 
of any supporting tanks or participating combat aviation; 
and by the employment of his reserve. When enemy pillboxes 
and bunkers, or mines, booby traps, wire, and other obstacles 
are located or suspected, the battalion commander employs as- 
sault parties and pioneer personnel, adequately supported 
by fire, for their neutralization. 

a. Attacking echelon. (1) The attacking echelon seldom 
encounters a uniformly held or continuous line of hostile re- 
sistance. Inequalities in the resistance encountered and in 
facilities for advance afforded by the terrain and by sup- 
porting fires result in the delay of some attacking units while 
other units are able to advance. 

(2) In furtherance or modification of his plan, the bat- 
talion commander may shift supporting fires from the main 
attack to assist the secondary attack (see fig. 9(1)) or may 
direct a more advanced company to assist by fire or flanking 
action an adjacent company that is held up. However, he 
does not stop or delay the advance of a company which has 
outdistanced the units on its flanks merely to preserve a gen- 
eral alinement, or in order to adhere rigidly to his plan of 
attack. He protects an advanced company against counterat- 
tack or infiltration of the enemy into its rear by advancing 
his reserve and supporting weapons sufficiently close behind 
the exposed company to be able to render prompt support. 
(See fig. 9 (3).) As the attack progresses, he may shoulder 
forward, shifting the weight of the attack from one flank 
to the other in order to take advantage of more favorable 
routes of approach or to avoid making his main effort front- 
ally against known or suspected hostile strength. This is ac- 
complished by shifting the bulk of his supporting fires and, 
when the situation warrants as indicated in c below, by com- 
mitting the reserve. 

(3) The battalion commander continues to press the ad- 
vance of his attacking echelon to the final objective even 
though it outdistances the adjacent battalions. He keeps the 
regimental commander informed as to his situation; if he 
loses contact with flank battalions, he reports that fact 



promptly. If diverting his reserve or the fire of his support- 
ing weapons to assist a battalion held up on his flank would 
delay his advance, he does not undertake such action unless 
directed to do so by the regimental commander. However, 
he assists adjacent battalions whenever such action will assist 
the advance of his unit or serve to protect an exposed flank. 
When he believes that assistance from more advanced bat- 
talions would further the regimental plan of attack, he asks 
that such assistance be furnished; otherwise he secures per- 
mission to cross the boundaries in rear of adjacent battalions 
whenever such action will enable him to employ flanking fires 
or to execute flank attacks. 

6. Employment of supporting weapons. (1) As the attack 
progresses the battalion commander assigns new position 
areas and missions to the heavy weapons company and anti- 
tank platoon and any attached units or weapons in order to 
insure continuous close support and protection for his attack- 
ing echelon, and to adjust the plan of supporting fires in 
case he make any changes in his initial plan of maneuver. 
He may delegate determination of the time and method of 
displacement to the commanders of these units. Displace- 
ment of supporting weapons is ordinarily made by echelon 
to insure that at least part of the weapons are in position 
at all times to support the attacking echelon. (See fig. 9.) 

(2) During the attack the battalion commander requests 
such fires of supporting cannon company weapons and ar- 
tillery as are necessary to give prompt support to his attack- 
ing echelon. He coordinates these fires with those of the 
heavy weapons company. In order to furnish effective sup- 
port, the supporting artillery and cannon company elements 
must know at all times the location of the leading elements 
of the attacking echelon. Although the artillery liaison of- 
ficer and the cannon company representative are responsible 
for maintaining liaison and communication with the infantry 
battalion, the battalion commander must insure that these 
agents are kept informed of the situation of the attacking 
echelon and of his contemplated actions. 

c. Employment of reserve. (1) Usually the commander of 
the battalion reserve stays with the battalion commander 



or operates from the battalion command post prior to the 
employment of the reserve. The reserve moves only on orders 
of the battalion commander, except in emergencies so grave 
as to justify immediate movement on the initiative of its 
commander. As the attack progresses it must be kept within 
supporting distance of the attacking echelon; that is, it must 
be close enough to intervene before the attacking echelon can 
be overwhelmed by a hostile counterattack. The battalion 
commander must therefore issue timely orders for its ad- 
vance to successive positions. (See fig. 9 (2).) To facilitate 
prompt movement he directs the reserve commander to re- 
connoiter and recommend suitable positions and routes there- 
to; these positions should afford cover and concealment for 
the reserve in deployed formation. Usually the reserve is 
advanced initially in rear of the company making the main 
attack. Later it is advanced in rear of the company making 
the most rapid advance in order to protect that company 
against counterattack and infiltration into its rear. 

(2) As the attack develops the battalion commander, as- 
sisted by his staff, considers tentative plans for possible em- 
ployment of the reserve, indicates probable employment to 
the reserve company commander, and directs the latter to re- 
connoiter in accordance with these plans so that he can act 
promptly when the decision is made to commit the reserve. 

(3) The reserve should be employed to exploit success at 
points where the enemy is weakening rather than to redeem 
failure where he is offering stubborn resistance. Resistance 
holding up the attacking echelon should be enveloped or at- 
tacked in flank whenever possible. When the reserve is used 
to continue the attack of a portion of the attacking echelon 
which is disorganized, depleted, or exhausted, it should, if 
practicable, be committed on the flank of the unit being re- 
lieved and attack in a new direction rather than pass 
through the unit being relieved and attempt to continue an 
unsuccessful attack. (See fig. 9 (T).) 

(4) Choosing the proper time for committing the reserve 
to action is often the battalion commander's most difficult 
and important decision; it must not be thrown into action 
piecemeal. The natural desire to retain control of this means 



of influencing the action must not be permitted to obscure 
the importance of maintaining the momentum of the advance. 
It should be committed without hesitation whenever the at- 
tacking echelon can no longer advance or the situation offers 
an opportunity to expedite the capture of a battalion objec- 
tive through its employment as a maneuvering unit. The 
battalion commander prescribes its objective and usually its 
direction of attack. If possible he prescribes its departure po- 
sition. He informs other units of the battalion of its contem- 
plated action and shifts supporting fires, as necessary, to as- 
sist it. The regimental commander is notified as soon as the 
decision to commit the battalion reserve has been reached. 

d. Use of tanks. In infantry-tank action, when infantry 
leads, the tanks support the attack initially by fire. If it is 
impracticable to use them in their primary role of maneuver, 
shock action, and direct fire tasks, they may be employed to 
reinforce the fires of the artillery, in which case the latter 
furnishes them with the requisite firing data. For these re- 
inforcing fires, ammunition requirements must be antici- 
pated, so that the normal loads need not be expended. When 
tanks lead, that is, when the attacking echelon consists of 
tanks only, the provision of FM 17-33 apply, and the infantry 
supports the attack by fire and maneuver. Artillery time 
fire (air bursts of high explosive shell, fragments of which 
are harmless to tank armor) frequently showers the tanks 
as they advance to the objective ; when such time fire is used, 
following infantry is obliged to keep a minimum distance of 
300 yards from the tanks. However, when the time fire lifts, 
the infantry must be ready to advance rapidly to the objective, 
seize it and prepare to continue the attack. The tanks, having 
reached the objective, dominate it pending the arrival of the 
Infantry. When infantry and tanks are together in the lead- 
ing wave, the commander regroups and redisposes them free- 
ly as conditions dictate. Some of the infantry may lead in 
rough terrain, pathfinding for the tanks or reconnoitering 
for antitank weapons, mines, and tank-hunting teams; the 
tank component of the leading wave may push ahead to wipe 
out hostile automatic weapons or bunkers that are holding 
up the infantry, or to make paths through barbed wire and 



other obstacles. They are held together, not by any rigid or 
static formation, but by identity of mission and unity of 
command. The commander moves each component in that por- 
tion of the zone where it can best accomplish its mission; 
not necessarily by the same routes, but always keeping tanks 
and infantry within mutual supporting distances. The pres- 
ence of antitank mine fields may be first indicated by the 
loss of one or more tanks. The tank unit should at once be 
withdrawn to defilade or hull defilade positions, from which 
it can support the infantry, while the latter proceeds, pro- 
tected, by necessary fires and smoke screening, to breach the 
mine field and mark lanes for the passage of the tanks. En- 
gineers, if available, are attached when extensive mine-lifting 
operations are foreseen. Tanks may participate by pushing 
into position and discharging demolition snakes. The enemy'3 
defense of his mine fields may, at times when effective smoke 
screens cannot be maintained, force the attacker to await 
darkness in order to breach the fields. 

144. SECURITY. Security measures planned on the initia- 
tion of the attack (see par. 135A) are continued in force or 
modified according to the progress of the attack. 

145. ASSAULT, a. In the attack, hostile resistance is' fre- 
quently reduced by a series of local assaults delivered at (lif- 
erent times by rifle companies or platoons. (See FM 7-10.) 

b. When the entire battalion is held up in front of a hos- 
tile position that cannot be outflanked, the battalion com- 
mander arranges for a prepared and coordinated assault by 
his attacking echelon, supported by the regimental cannon 
company, the artillery, and his heavy weapons. He either 
fixes a time for lifting of supporting fires and delivery of the 
assault, or employs a prearranged signal for this purpose. 
When supporting fires are lifted, the attacking echelon de- 
livers assault fire, and closes with hand grenade and bayonet. 
Assault fire comprises rifle, automatic rifle, and carbine fires 
in kneeling or standing positions when the degree of fire 
superiority makes this possible, coupled with swift advance 
between shots. Supporting fires lift to targets on the flanks 
and in rear. (See FM 7-15.) 



c. In infantry-tank action, the tanks may assist the as- 
saulting infantry by — 

(1) Preceding the infantry to the objective under artillery 
time fire and dominating it until the time fire is lifted and 
the infantry moves in, reorganizes, and, depending on the as- 
signed mission, either resumes the attack or prepares the po- 
sition for defense. 

(2) Accompanying the infantry to the objective, eliminat- 
ing stubborn enemy groups by fire power and shock action, 
crushing enemy works, weapons, and equipment, dislodging 
snipers and observers from trees, and, upon reaching the ob- 
jective, occupying positions of domination and observation. 
A portion of the infantry must have the duty of giving the 
tanks local protection against enemy personnel employing 
magnetic mines, rockets, and antitank grenades. 

dinarily the battalion commander can make definite plans 
and issue orders only to cover the conduct of the attack as far 
as the initial objective assigned to the battalion. Until this 
point is reached, companies in the attacking etfhelon pause 
only long enough to accomplish any essential reorganization 
and immediately continue the attack. (See par. 135a.) 

6. When companies in the attacking echelon have reached 
the last objective prescribed for them by the initial orders 
of the battalion commander, he must quickly reorganize his 
attack and issue additional orders for its continuance. Speed 
in reconnaissance and issuing of orders is vital in order to 
permit resumption of the advance in time to take advantage 
of the initial success. 

c. The battalion commander insures timely displacement 
of battalion supporting weapons to each objective so that 
they can afford protection from possible hostile counterattack 
and prepare to support the continuation of the attack. The 
antitank platoon leader and heavy weapons company recon- 
naissance personnel must continuously reconnoiter close in 
rear of the attacking echelon. This insures that information of 
routes and of new firing position areas may be secured in 
time to permit rapid displacement. 



d. During any pause on an objective the battalion com- 
mander insures that his advanced elements maintain contact 
with the enemy, in order to have early information of the 
latter's withdrawal or to avert surprise in case of enemy 

DATION, a. When the battalion reaches its final objective, 
the regimental commander is immediately notified, and will 
usually prescribe the subsequent action of the battalion. In 
the absence of orders the battalion commander promptly 
takes steps to consolidate the position, reorganize, and be 
prepared either to defend the ground won or continue the 
attack, as the regimental commander may order. He pro- 
vides for the security and defense of the position and for 
maintaining contact with the enemy. He reconstitutes a re- 
serve if necessary. His orders include — 

(1) Battalion area in which reorganization is to be ac- 
complished. This will ordinarily be on or near the reverse 
slope of the objective captured in order to insure defilade 
from aimed fire of the retiring enemy. 

(2) Measures for security particularly against counter- 

(3) General location of the temporary line of resistance 
and assignment of responsibility for its defense. 

(4) Position areas and missions for the battalion sup- 
porting weapons. 

(5) Defensive fires of artillery and other supporting units. 

(6) Forward movement of ammunition vehicles to permit 
replenishment of supplies; and other administrative details 
such as assembling and disposition of stragglers and prison- 
ers of war. 

(7) Location of command post. 

6. The first step in reorganization is placing small security 
groups, strong in automatic weapons and rocket launchers, 
forward of the objective to block counterattack; these groups 
should be supplemented by hull-defiladed tanks, if available, 
and by a part of the battalion antitank platoon. One or more 



patrols should also be sent out to maintain contact with the 
enemy and determine the extent of his withdrawal. Minimum 
reorganization procedure will include a check up on casual- 
ties and remaining strength, presence or designation of lead- 
ers for all units, similar replacement of specialists, equaliza- 
tion of strength of units, redistribution of available ammuni- 
tion, and prompt report by each leader to his immediate 
superior, of the status of his unit. The battalion commander 
makes a similar report to the regimental commander. The 
integrity of units is maintained as far as practicable. 

c. If, because of hostile interference, it is both impossible 
to advance and impracticable to take methodical measures for 
reorganization and consolidation, troops dig in where they 
find themselves. The battalion commander subsequently fixes 
the main line of resistance to conform to orders of the regi- 
mental commander (see FM 7-40) and to make best use of 
the terrain held within the battalion zone of action. Read- 
justments may be made during darkness. The battalion com- 
mander coordinates the fire of the heavy weapons company 
and weapons platoons of rifle companies and arranges for 
artillery support. 

148. PURSUIT, a. Battalion in direct pressure. (1) Pursuit 
beyond the final objective is commenced only upon orders 
of the regimental commander. 

(2) When the battalion is ordered to pursue by direct 
pressure, it takes up the advance in deployed formation. Its 
action is similar to that of a leading battalion in the approach 
march. (See par. 123.) Company commanders are allowed 
maximum freedom of initiative. The battalion commander's 
orders, usually brief and fragmentary, give missions, de- 
parture positions, directions of advance, and objectives. Ob- 
jectives usually are much more distant than in the attack. 
The advance is expedited by all practicable means. Ele- 
ments of the heavy weapons company are usually attached 
by section or platoon to leading rifle companies. The battal- 
ion can expect to encounter enemy tanks and self-propelled 
guns which the enemy will employ to cover his retreat. The 



pursuing force must be prepared to use all its available anti- 
tank means. Tank destroyers and tanks should reinforce the 
pursuing force whenever available. 

(3) When the battalion reserve is intact at the time the 
final objective is captured, it may be used to begin the pur- 
suit immediately. A new reserve is then constituted. During 
the pursuit the reserve is committed promptly whenever nec- 
essary to prevent the enemy from making a stand. 

(4) The battalion commander calls for fires of supporting 
artillery and of the regimental cannon company, but does not 
delay his action awaiting such support when delay can be 
avoided by use of the fires of his heavy weapons company 
or by maneuver. 

(5) Pursuit is pushed to the limit of endurance. No op- 
portunity is given the enemy to reorganize his forces or re- 
constitute his defense, even at night. 

(6) If the pursuit has progressed without serious resis- 
tance, the regimental commander may order continuation of 
the advance during the night. In this case full use is made of 
roads, trails, and open routes of march. If resistance has 
been more determined, the regimental commander may order 
a series of limited objective night attacks. Prompt report is 
made on arrival at each objective. These night attacks are 
made in accordance with the general principles of section 
VIII, but the time for preparation is reduced to a minimum 
and opportunities for daylight reconnaissance may be lacking. 

6. Battalion in encircling force. (1) The battalion may 
participate in an encircling maneuver as part of a larger 
force. Ordinarily the battalion will be provided with addition- 
al motor vehicles for the transportation of foot elements and 
will move by motor, detruck in an assembly position, and 
then attack. If tanks participate, some of the infantry may 
accompany and attack in conjunction with them. 

(2) The battalion as the reserve of a regiment engaged 
in pursuit by direct pressure may be directed to envelop or 
encircle hostile forces holding up the regiment. The envelop- 
ment may be very wide; it will be characterized by rapid 



marching, hasty reconnaissance, prompt issuance of frag- 
mentary orders, and all other possible steps to expedite action. 

Section Til 

149. GENERAL, a. For an attack the regimental command- 
er may initially hold one or two battalions in reserve. (See 
PM 7-40.) He prescribes initial and subsequent locations of 
a reserve battalion so that it is afforded maximum protec- 
tion from hostile observation and air and mechanized attack. 
It is kept within supporting distance of the attacking echelon. 

6. Initially and until committed to action a reserve battal- 
ion may be assigned missions to— 

(1) Protect the flank (s) of the regiment. 

(2) Maintain contact with adjacent units. 

(3) Protect the rear of the regiment. 

(4) Assist attacking battalion (s) by the fire of its heavy 

c. During the attack a reserve battalion may be assigned 
missions' to — 

(1) Exploit a success of the attacking echelon. 

(2) Exploit any hostile weakness developed by the attack- 
ing echelon. 

(3) Protect a flank exposed by the advance of the attack- 
ing echelon. 

(4) Envelop or outflank resistance that is holding up the 
attacking echelon. 

(5) Continue the action of the attacking echelon when it 
becomes disorganized, depleted, or exhausted (this may re- 
quire a passage of lines but preferably is executed by move- 
ment to a flank of the unit relieved). 

(6) Meet hostile counterattacks. 

SITIONS. Upon receipt of the regimental order the battal- 
ion commander moves his battalion to the initial position des- 



ignated. Extra ammunition is issued and individual rolls are 
stacked and concealed in an accessible location in the initial 
position, if these actions have not previously been accom- 
plished. Except in grave emergency the reserve is moved 
only on order of the regimental commander. Before the bat- 
talion falls behind the attacking battalions to the extent 
that it is beyond effective supporting distance, the battalion 
commander makes timely recommendations to the regimental 
commander for movement to a new position. Movement to 
and occupation of initial and subsequent positions in reserve 
is conducted as for an approach march and occupation of as- 
sembly areas. (See sees. II and III.) 

151. ACTIONS WHILE IN RESERVE, a. In accordance 
with assigned missions the commander of a reserve battalion 
details the necessary patrols and connecting groups to protect 
the flanks and rear of the regiment and to maintain contact 
with adjacent units. He will usually detail these elements 
from one company of the battalion, preferably the company 
he contemplates placing initially in reserve in case the bat- 
talion should be committed to action. Patrols and connecting 
groups operate as prescribed in FM 7-10. 

6. As directed by the regimental commander the command- 
er of a reserve battalion makes the necessary reconnaissance 
and prepares tentative plans for all possible missions for his 
battalion. To keep abreast of the situation and the regimental 
commander's plans, he or a member of his staff remains 
with the regimental commander or at the regimental com- 
mand post. Assisted by his staff the battalion commander 
reconnoiters probable areas of employment for the battalion 
and routes thereto in order that he may commit his battalion 
to action promptly when ordered to do so. His reconnaissance 
and plans and his attack orders when the battalion is directed 
to attack conform to those described in section V for a bat- 
talion in the attacking echelon. 

c. The regimental commander may temporarily detach all 
or part of the heavy weapons company of a reserve battalion 
for use on special missions, such as to support the leading 
battalions of the regiment in the initial stages of an attack. 
Such detached elements are usually returned to the battalion 



when their fires from initial positions are masked or their 
special missions are completed. In any event they are re- 
turned before the battalion is committed to action. 

152. CONDUCT OP ATTACK. When it is committed to ac- 
tion, the reserve battalion conducts the attack as described in 
section VI. When assigned the mission of attacking a hostile 
force making a counterattack, the battalion commander 
makes every effort to strike the hostile counterattack in the 
flank before it can disrupt the action of the attacking echelon. 

153. RESERVE FOR LARGER UNITS. A battalion may 
be placed in division or corps reserve. Its missions and em- 
ployment then will be prescribed by the commander of the 
unit concerned and are generally similar to those for the bat- 
talion in regimental reserve. (See PM 100-5.) The battalion 
may be motorized by the higher commander. 

battalion may be employed to relieve a battalion engaged 
with the enemy in order to restore the momentum of the at- 
tack. When the relief is executed at night, the battalion re- 
lieved is withdrawn to its designated assembly position as 
soon as units of the relieving battalion are in position; how- 
ever, it may be ordered to leave heavy weapons in position 
to support the attack initially until fires are masked. When 
the relief is made in daylight, the battalion relieved or passed 
through remains in position and continues fire support of 
the relieving battalion until its fires are masked and until 
the new attack has progressed far enough for the battalion 
relieved to be assembled and reorganized without undue cas- 

6. The approach march and attack of the relieving battal- 
ion are conducted as described in sections II to VI, inclusive. 
When it passes through the battalion relieved, the line of de- 
parture will be the line held by the leading elements of the 
battalion relieved or a covered position just in rear of that 

c. Because a hostile air or artillery bombardment, while the 
relief is in progress, may result in heavy casualties, the ut- 



most precautions are taken to preserve secrecy and to' keep 
both battalions properly dispersed. 

d. When time permits formal relief of one battalion by the 
other, as in a relief prior to a resumption of the attack at 
dawn, the battalion commanders of both the relieving battal- 
ion and the battalion to be relieved issue warning orders in- 
cluding approximate hour the movement for the relief is to 
begin, zone in which relieving battalion is to operate, and 
instructions for reconnaissance to include restrictions on size 
of parties, routes, and hours of operation. The commander 
and staff of the relieving battalion and those of the battalion 
to be relieved meet, if practicable, to arrange and agree upon 
the details of the relief. Detailed planning depends upon the 
time available. It may include — 

(1) Guides to be furnished by the relieved battalion. 

(2) Use of roads and other routes . 

(3) Fire support to be furnished by the relieved battalion 
and time and/or conditions for the withdrawal of its heavy 

(4) Security measures that will be provided by the relieved 
battalion for the incoming battalion. 

(6) Arrangements for taking over existing communication 

(6) Time command passes to the relieving battalion. 

Section Vni 

166. GENERAL, a. For the general characteristics of night 
operations, see FM 100-6. For details of the rifle company 
and heavy weapons company in night attacks, see FMs 7-10 
and 7-16. 

b. A battalion may be ordered to make a night attack to 
acomplish one or more of the following purposes : 

(1) Complete or exploit a success. 

(2) Gain important terrain for future operations. 



(3) Avoid heavy losses which would be incurred by at- 
tacks in daylight over open terrain. 

(4) Deceive the enemy and cause him to hold forces in 
position or attract his reserves. 

o. A night attack requires careful planning and prepara- 
tion, special measures to preserve secrecy and secure surprise, 
and precision and cohesion in execution. A battalion should 
have a minimum of 3 hours for daylight preparation. If such 
time is not available the principles given hereafter are ap- 
plied so far as practicable. Night attacks are seldom justified 
without ample time for daylight preparation. 

d. The attacking force employs stealth to close with the en- 
emy before defensive fixed fires from heavy weapons can be 
brought down. Attacking troops use bayonets and knives un- 
til discovered. They may then employ hand grenades. When 
practicable, small arms fire is delivered against enemy weap- 
ons which reveal themselves by their flash. An aggressive 
assault, accompanied by shouts and yells, may demoralize the 

e. A night attack cannot be expected to progress through 
the depth of the hostile position because adjacent and rear- 
ward garrisons will be aroused and surprise lost when the as- 
sault is made. Therefore, the objective should be a specific 
area or terrain feature close to the hostile front, and of such 
width and depth that it can be captured in a single assault 
by the force detailed to make the night attack. It should be 
well defined and easily recognizable at night. The approaches 
to it should permit silent movement. Daylight observation of 
the objective and of the terrain leading to it is essential. The 
attack is facilitated if roads, fences, hedges', pole lines, en- 
gineer tape or other directional aids are used. 

/. The regimental commander, in ordering that a night at- 
tack be made, prescribes the objective, the support available 
from units outside the battalion, and the mission to be ac- 
complished after capture of the objective. Usually his in- 
structions also include a directive that the plan of attack 
be submitted for his' approval. 



ACTIONS, a. The preparations to be made by a battalion 
commander include — 

(1) Prompt determination of the rifle strength to be em- 
ployed in the attacking echelon, and tentative time of attack 
(if not prescribed by the regimental commander). 

(2) Selection of rear assembly area(s) and arrangement 
for occupation thereof if participating units are improperly 
located for the attack. 

(3) Prompt warning orders stating the nature of the op- 
eration, the time for submission of recommendations by heavy 
weapons company and antitank platoon commanders, as well 
as those of attached and other supporting units, and the time 
and place for subordinates to report for orders. 

(4) Determination by reconnaissance of the limits of the 
objective, the most suitable terrain over which to approach 
it, and the area from which the attack is to be made. 

(5) When the attack is to be made by the entire battalion, 
determination of the formation of the attacking echelon and 
selection of forward assembly area(s), line of departure, 
exact lateral limits of each company's' objective, limit of ad- 
vance, and line or points for deployment of the attacking 
echelon. (See par. 157e.) 

(6) Issuance of a fragmentary attack order and of in- 
structions for night patrolling in time to permit subordinate 
leaders to make their reconnaissance before dark. When one 
rifle company is to make the attack, the order should be is- 
sued at least 2 hours before dark. It should include the ob- 
jective, approximate time of attack, location of the rear as- 
sembly area, the forward assembly area, and the mission of 
the company after capture of the objective. Other details may 
be included. The recommendations of the company commander 
concerning the location of protective fires and other desired 
assistance may be called for. 

(7) If the battalion is to move from the rear assembly area 
to the forward assembly area(s) under battalion control, re- 
connaissance and marking of the route (s) to be used. 

(8) If necessary, issuance of instructions or completion 



of arrangements for coordination with any friendly troops 
occuping the selected forward assembly area(s) and for the 
creation of gaps in the front lines for passage of the attack- 
ing echelon and of other elements displacing to the objective. 

(9) Completion of the plan of protective fires, of the plan 
for employment of the antitank platoon, and of other details 
of the attack. 

(10) Issuance to subordinates of the final details of the 
attack order. 

6. Daylight reconnaissance by the battalion commander 
and by all subordinate leaders including the leaders of patrols 
is essential. It is supplemented by additional reconnaissance 
during dusk and by the study of the most recent vertical and 
oblique aerial photographs. The battalion commander should 
secure sufficient aerial photographs of the area to permit 
distribution of at least one set to each company and to the 
antitank platoon. The battalion commander requires recon- 
naissance to be conducted with due regard to secrecy. 

c. During daylight, reconnaissance of terrain not held by 
friendly troops is usually limited to observation from points 
in rear of our front lines. Frequently the only means of se- 
curing detailed information of the terrain in the zone of ac- 
tion, as well as of the location and strength of hostile out- 
guards and listening posts, is by night patrolling. These pa- 
trols may also be required to select and mark routes forward 
of the line of departure and to furnish guides for subordinate 
units. Every effort is made to locate enemy mine fields and 
to breach these and other obstacles. The battalion command- 
er's instructions to rifle company commanders define the area 
each company is to patrol and the information required; the 
number of patrols, their size, and other details may also be 

157. PLAN OF ATTACK, a. General. (1) Maintenance of 
direction, of contact and communication between units, and 
of control over subordinate elements is difficult at night. 
These difficulties' vary directly with the degree of visibility 
existing at the time of the attack and the methods used must 
be chosen accordingly. No set method can be followed. 



(2) The added difficulties involved in any attempt to 
change direction at night and the possibility of mistakes in 
identity, should friendly forces converge, prohibit any maneu- 
ver other than a simple attack at close quarters in one di- 

6. Objective and strength of attacking echelon. The objec- 
tive is usually assigned by higher authority, but the battalion 
commander determines its exact lateral limits; when the at- 
tack is to be made by the entire battalion, he assigns specific 
portions to each leading rifle company. The use of successive 
objectives is impracticable. Since the riflemen of one com- 
pany, when deployed at 2-yard intervals, cover a front of ap- 
proximately 225 yards, each company objective ordinarily 
should have a maximum width which does not materially ex- 
ceed this frontage. However, this limit may be increased if 
conditions of visibility permit the maintenance of control 
and cohesion. A minimum width of 100 yards may be as- 
signed to a rifle company. The width of the objective, there- 
fore, will usually determine the strength of the attacking 
echelon prescribed by the regimental or battalion commander. 
(See par. 155/.) 

c. Time of attack. When the attack is to be continued at 
daylight, a night attack usually is made late in the night 
in order to permit the enemy a mimimum time to organize 
an effective counterattack under cover of darkness. The at- 
tack should begin in time to complete the capture of the ob- 
jective at least %-hour before dawn in order to allow time 
for reorganization of the attacking troops, as well as for oth- 
er preparations to meet counterattacks under cover of dark- 
ness. In determining when to begin the advance, the pos- 
sibility of unforeseen delays, such as those involved in si- 
lencing hostile patrols and outguards or waiting for hostile 
illumination to die down, are taken into account. When the 
mission is to capture, consolidate, and defend an objective, 
the battalion (or rifle company) usually attacks as soon 
after dark as it can be made ready and information of hostile 
night dispositions can be obtained. No set rule can be fol- 
lowed; in order to obtain surprise, an attack may be made 
shortly after dark even though the battalion (or rifle com- 



pany) is to continue the attack the following morning. 

d. Battalion (or company) rear assembly area. Troops 
should be rested and fed, extra ammunition issued, plans com- 
pleted, and final orders issued prior to the movement of the 
attacking force to the vicinity of the line of departure. When- 
ever, practicable, these actions are accomplished in a rear 
assembly area concealed from hostile air and ground obser- 
vation and defiladed from small-arms fire. 

e. Formation. (1) For formation of the rifle company in 
a night attack, see FM 7-10. 

(2) When the attack is to be made by the entire battalion, 
the battalion commander prescribes the formations (disposi- 
tions) of the battalion as a whole and those of the leading 
rifle companies. Leading rifle companies usually cross the 
line of departure in line of platoon columns. However, if vis- 
ibility permits control to be maintained, line of squad col- 
umns may be used initially. Intervals between columns are 
such that a skirmish line may be formed with approximately 
2-yard intervals between men without overlapping of pla- 
toons. Weapons platoons of these companies, less transport, 
either follow rifle elements at a distance greater than the 
limit of visibility or advance by bounds in rear of rifle ele- 
ments upon orders of the respective company commanders. 
If the distance to the objective is not excessive they may be 
left in the forward assembly area to displace forward rapidly 
upon capture of the objective. The width of the company ob- 
jective usually requires all rifle strength for the assault; 
hence leading rifle companies ordinarily do not hold out a 
support unit. When supports are held out, they ordinarily 
move with weapons platoons and are employed after the ob- 
jective has been taken. Officers and men who are armed with 
the carbine and participate in the night attack may be fur- 
nished rifles and bayonets. 

(3) The battalion commander constitutes a reserve, usual- 
ly at least one rifle company, for the primary purpose of pro- 
viding a force with which to protect the flanks of the cap- 
tured position against hostile counterattacks launched at or 
shortly after daylight. Unless the distance from the line of 
departure to the objective is over 1,000 yards, the reserve is 



usually held in rear of the line of departure until after the 
objective has been captured. By daylight the reserve must 
be under cover within supporting distance of troops on the 
captured objective. At that time elements of the reserve 
may be employed to mop up any enemy groups left in rear of 
the attacking echelon. 

(4) The attacking echelon usually retains its initial for- 
mation until it forms skirmish line for the assault. How- 
ever, an initial formation of line of platoon columns may be 
changed to squad columns for crossing a level or evenly slop- 
ing intermediate area which might be subject to hostile graz- 
ing machine-gun fire; line of squad columns then is retained 
until skirmish line is formed prior to the assault. 

(5) The battalion commander may direct that columns 
deploy as skirmishers for the assault upon arrival at a pre- 
viously designated line (or series of terrain features) or that 
the assault be assumed upon his order transmitted as indi- 
cated in r below. Ordinarily, deployment as skirmishers should 
be effected when the attacking echelon is from 100 to 200 
yards from the objective. Battalion orders must provide for 
immediate deployment on the initiative of company com- 
manders following discovery by the enemy. 

/. Line of departure. The line of departure must be under 
control of friendly troops, easily and unmistakably identified 
at night, and approximately perpendicular to the direction of 
advance. If no terrain feature can be found which fulfills 
these requirements, the line may be indicated by tape. The 
ideal situation is found when the line of departure forms 
the forward edge of the forward assembly area(s). 

g. Forward assembly area. If practicable, a forward as- 
sembly area is selected which can contain the attacking 
echelon in the exact formation to be employed for the ad- 
vance across the line of departure. In this area control meas- 
ures and directions are verified and security groups moved 
into position. The selected area should contain a minimum 
of obstacles and be situated on the axis of advance close to 
the line of departure. Defilade from flat-trajectory fire is 
desirable, but not essential, since darkness provides protec- 



tion. When necessary, a release point and separate com- 
pany forward assembly areas are prescribed. 

h. Limit of advance. In order to retain control and cohesion 
and to prevent the attacking echelon from being endangered 
by friendly protective fires, the battalion commander estab- 
lishes a limit of advance both in depth and to the flanks of 
the objective. To be effective this limit must be defined by 
relation to terrain features which can be identified at night. 

i. Reorganization. The battalion order prescribes that the 
attacking echelon (or the rifle company making the night 
attack) reorganize immediately upon capture of the objec- 
tive. This reorganization is in the hands of each company 
commander and his subordinate leaders. The battalion com- 
mander, however, requires that he be notified immediately 
of the capture of the objective in order that fires may be 
brought down to protect the reorganizing units. (See PM 
7-40.) To insure prompt notification, the commander of each 
leading rifle company uses a prearranged pyrotechnic signal 
or communicates the information by radiotelephone. 

j. Action after objective is captured. The missions to be 
accomplished by each subordinate unit and, as far as pos- 
sible, the dispositions it is to assume upon capture of the 
objective, must be prescribed in the attack order of the bat- 
talion commander. Otherwise confusion, uncertainty, and loss 
of valuable time will result. 

k. Employment of supporting weapons. (1) Prearranged 
protective fires are planned by the battalion commander to 
protect the attacking echelon. The plan provides for their 
release, upon call, after the attack has been discovered or 
the objective captured. They include — 

(a) Fires to box in the objective. 

(b) Any additional fires needed to cover probable areas 
of departure or routes of approach for hostile counterattack 
against the captured objective. 

(c) Mortar flares' for observation after the objective is 

(2) When the battalion supporting weapons are to par- 
ticipate in prearranged protective fires, the fires of heavy 



machine guns, 81-mm mortars, cannon company weapons, and 
artillery are fully coordinated so as to provide a complete 
system of protective fires. Antitank guns are located initially 
to cover roads or other likely avenues of approach for hos- 
tile armored reconnaissance vehicles. Positions for supporting 
heavy weapons, antitank guns, and cannon company weapons 
must be reconnoitered and marked, and firing data prepared 
during daylight. Weapons are emplaced under cover of dark- 

(3) Since secrecy is indispensable to the success of a night 
attack, an artillery preparation is usually undesirable. How- 
ever, for an attack against a strong position the battalion 
commander may arrange for a short, violent artillery prep- 
aration to be placed on the objective immediately preceding 
the assault and to be lifted on a time schedule, or prear- 
ranged signal. 

(4) All or part of the heavy weapons company is dis- 
placed to the captured objective in time to be in firing posi- 
tions by daybreak in order to assist in repelling counterat- 
tacks. When only a portion of the company is to displace, 
its firing positions are chosen with a view to facilitating 
prompt displacement. All or part of the antitank platoon is 
similarly displaced. 

(5) When the attack is to be made by the entire bat- 
talion, sufficient supporting weapons from units outside the 
battalion may be made available to furnish all the necessary 
protective fires. In this event the battalion commander has 
his own heavy weapons company follow the attacking echelon 
by bounds in time to occupy positions on the objective by 

(6) For details of employment of the heavy weapons com- 
pany, see PM 7-15. 

I. Other arms. (1) When tanks are used, attack positions 
should be close to objectives, daylight reconnaissance and re- 
hearsal should be most painstaking, infantry should closely 
accompany the tanks, and the operation should be planned 
for a bright moonlight night. 

(2) Engineers may be attached to remove or demolish 



mines and other obstacles, repair routes of communication, 
and assist in the defensive organization of the objective after 

(3) Chemical troops, if attached, deliver planned fires 
after the attack has been discovered, and are employed after 
the capture of the objective to assist in its defense or in the 
.continuation of the attsick. 

(4) Aviation may, by prearrangement, furnish photo- 
graphs, particularly obliques and vectographs, of great value 
in planning the action of the battalion. 

m. Employment of ammunition and pioneer platoon. Ele- 
ments of the ammunition and pioneer platoon are frequently 
attached to the heavy weapons company and to the anti- 
tank platoon in order to assist in hand-carrying of ammuni- 
tion to the captured objective. (See FM 7-15.) When no en- 
gineers are available, elements of the platoon may be em- 
ployed, if necessary, to accomplish the tasks mentioned in 
1(2) above. 

n. Control measures. When the attack is made by the en- 
tire battalion, control will be facilitated by the designation of 
a base unit, by directing that column formations be main- 
tained as long as practicable, and by the use of connecting 
groups when required by conditions of visibility. Roads, 
fences, streams, and similar terrain features leading toward 
the objective may be used as boundaries between subordinate 
units as well as for directional guides. A magnetic azimuth 
and a rate of advance should be prescribed (see r below). 
Each column commander should be required to march at the 
head of his column and either an officer or a noncommis- 
misioned officer to march at the tail. 

o. Identification measures. Prescribed means of identifica- 
tion are usually both visual and audible. The former may con- 
sist of any available distinctive object, such as a handker- 
chief, underclothing, white brassards, or luminous disks 
which can be seen at close range during darkness. Words or 
noises, such as a challenge, password, and reply, given in a 
low tone, are valuable audible means. (See par. 104.) 

p. Secrecy. Measures to secure secrecy are rigidly enforced. 



Bayonets are required to be fixed before leaving the forward 
assembly area and weapons are carried unloaded, or loaded 
and locked (a command decision), until after the capture 
of the objective. Lights of every kind are prohibited. Articles 
of equipment or clothing which make a noise or are capable 
of reflecting light are securely wrapped, replaced, or elim- 
inated. (Luminous dial compasses and watches are, however, 
expressly authorized.) Talking is forbidden; orders and re- 
ports are given in murmurs. Vehicles are left, under cover, 
sufficiently in rear of the forward assembly area to pre- 
vent their noise reaching the enemy. 

q. Security. Security during the advance is provided by 
means of patrols. When the attack is to be made by the en- 
tire battalion, elements of the battalion reserve are located 
so that they can protect the flanks o'f the attacking units. 
A small patrol precedes each advancing column at the limit 
of visibility in order that hostile elements encountered by 
the patrol may not also discover the column. Flank patrols 
operate at distances which do not materially exceed the limit 
of visibility from the element to be protected. If practicable, 
patrols include men who speak the enemy language in order 
that if the patrol is challenged, they may answer while other 
members of the patrol close with bayonets. A careful mop- 
ping up of the objective is essential to its security. 

r. Method and rate of advance. (1) The method and rate 
of advance of the attacking echelon of the battalion are pre- 
scribed so as to cause a simultaneous assault by the leading 
companies. The advance may be made as a continuous for- 
ward movement when the visibility is such as to permit con- 
trol and contact to be maintained. Ordinarily, however, the 
advance is by bounds, with periodic halts for the purpose of 
checking on contact and on direction. The battalion com- 
mander may prescribe that such halts be made on arrival at 
designated well-defined terrain features, at prescribed time 
intervals, or after advancing a prescribed number of pace3. 
He directs that columns, at each halt, verify or reestab- 
lish contact and alinement with adjacent columns in the di- 
rection of the base unit. He prescribes that the advance will 
be resumed only on his order, which may be transmitted from 



the base unit by messengers or passed from column to column. 

(2) Forward of the line of departure the care necessary 
to preserve silence usually limits the rate of advance to ap- 
proximately 100 yards in from 6 to 10 minutes, depending 
upon the degree of visibility and on the nature of the terrain 
being traversed. In an attack made shortly before daylight 
the rate of advance is considered in determining the time 
of attack. 

s. Signal communication, battalion in night attack. (1) 
The battalion command post usually remains in rear of the 
friendly front lines until the objective is captured. The bat- 
talion commander, designated staff officers, and messengers 
usually follow the base unit of the attacking echelon closely. 

(2) The battalion commander and the commanders of 
leading rifle companies are provided with voice radios. How- 
ever, their use is prohibited until the enemy discovers the 

(3) To facilitate communication between the battalion 
commander and his comand post a telephone line may be 
advanced at such distance in rear of the attacking echelon 
as to prevent the noise of wire-laying reaching the enemy. 
Foot messengers may also be employed. 

(4) Pyrotechnic signals, supplemented in emergencies by 
voice radio, are used to call for prearranged protective fires. 
Care is taken to select distinctive pyrotechnic signals or com- 
binations thereof since the enemy may also employ various 
flares and rockets. The battalion commander retains these 
signals under his personal control or under the control of 
the leading rifle company commanders in order to prevent 
their premature or unauthorized use. 

(5) Telephone communication to the objective should be 
established promptly after its capture. 

158. ORDERS, a. The order for a night attack goes into 
much greater detail than a similar order for an attack by 
day. Provision is made for every eventuality that can reason- 
ably be foreseen. 

6.. The outline below indicates the matter to be included 
in the attack order. 




1. a. Information of the enemy. 

6. Information of friendly troops. 

(1) Situation and mission(s) of the regiment and 
adjacent units. 

(2) Supporting fires of artillery, cannon, antitank, 
tank and aviation units. 

(3) Security elements in vicinity. 

2. Mission and general plan of the battalion. 
a. Plan of maneuver including objective. 

6. Formation. 

c. Line of departure. 

d. Direction of attack. 

e. Boundaries of battalion zone of action and, when 
practicable, a boundary between companies. 

/. Time of attack. 

3. Instruction to subordinate units. 

a. Specific instructions to each rifle company in attack- 
ing echelon. 

(1) Objective. 

(2) Formation. 

(3) Forward assembly area. 

(4) Limit of advance. 

(5) Reorganization on objective. 

(6) Company mission upon capture of the objective 
and mission at daylight. 

(7) Security measures applicable to individual com- 

6. Instructions to the heavy weapons company. 

(1) Plan of protective fires (if required). 

(a) Position areas. 

(b) Targets. 

(2) If all protective fires are to be furnished by 
other units, initial location and formation of the 

(3) Displacement to objective after its capture, 
(a) Designation of elements. 



(b) Time. 

(c) Method. 

(d) New position area(s). 

(e) Target (s) or sector (s) of fire after day- 

(4) Target (s) or sector (s) of fire after daylight for 
elements not displacing. 

c. Instructions to the antitank platoon. 

(1) Initial firing position area(s) and principal di- 
rection (s) of fire, or location of position (s) in 

(2) Displacement to objective after its capture. 

(a) Designation of elements. 

(b) Time. 

(c) Method. 

(d) New position area(s). 

(e) Principal direction (s) of fire. 

(3) Changes, if any, to be made prior to daylight 
by elements not displacing to the objective. 

d. Instructions, if any, to the ammunition and pioneer 
platoon, including attachments of elements' to the heavy 
weapons company or antitank platoon. 

e. Instructions for the reserve. 

(1) Initial location. 

(2) Missions or movements prior to capture of ob- 

(3) Mission or movements after capture of objec- 

x. Instructions applicable to more than one unit of the 

(1) Special measures for control and coordination. 

(2) Means of identification. 

(3) Measures to maintain secrecy. 

(4) Security measures before and during the attack 
and after reaching the objective, especially against 

(5) Method of advance. 



(6) Rate of advance. 

(7) Action when hostile security elements are en- 

(8) When to form in line of squad columns, if that 
formation is to be used. 

(9) When to deploy as skirmishers. 

(10) When to load rifles. 

(11) Rallying points, in case withdrawal becomes 

4. Administrative instructions and information. 
a. Ammunition supply. 

(1) Location of battalion ammunition supply point. 

(2) Route of ammunition advance after daylight 
(where applicable). 

(3) Amount of ammunition to be carried. 

(4) Alterations or additions to standing operating 
procedure for ammunition supply. 

6. Arrangements, if any, for feeding. 

c. Use or disposition of weapon carriers. 

d. Instructions concerning tools, wire, antitank mines, 
or other special equipment when captured position 
is to be organized for defense. 

e. Location of battalion aid station (s). 

5. Communication instructions. 

a. Index to signal operations instructions in effect. 

b. Pyrotechnic signals. 

c. Restrictions, if any, on use of radio. 

d. Location of battalion command post prior to and dur- 
ing attack and after capture of objective. 

e. Any special instructions concerning signal communi- 
cation to be established at objective. 

/. Location of battalion commander. 

a. Advance. Prior to the jump-off for the attack the battalion 
commander insures that troops and leaders are in the pre- 
scribed formation and security patrols are posted. During 
the advance he constantly verifies that direction, contact, 
and cohesion are maintained. The advance is made stealthily 



and slowly in order to maintain silence, control, contact, and 
direction. When hostile listening posts or patrols are en- 
countered, leading security groups promptly dispose of them 
with the bayonet while nearby columns halt and lie down. 
When the advance is made by bounds, scouts or patrols recon- 
noiter for the next advance at the end of each bound. Halts 
are as short as practicable. If the troops are caught unex- 
pectedly by the illumination of a flare or if the sound of 
discharge of a flare is detected, all should quickly hit the 
ground and remain in place. Units which lose contact with 
adjacent units continue to press forward toward their own 
objectives. The battalion commander avoids the use of pre- 
arranged protective fires, if possible until the objective is 
captured; however, if the attack is discovered, he may call for 

b. Assault. Precautions must be taken to prevent desultory 
firing by the enemy from bringing on a premature assault 
and to avoid a prolonged pause for deployment as skirmishers. 
Upon deployment the advance is continued at a walk until 
hostile resistance is met, when the assault is delivered with 
the bayonet. At this stage, troops press on regardless of 
flares. Once the assault is launched, the morale of the troops, 
their individual initiative, and the quality of the leadership 
by junior officers and noncommissioned officers must be re- 
lied upon to decide the issue. 

c. Action after capture of objective. Reorganization begins 
as soon as the objective is captured. Officers and noncom- 
missioned officers organize the men in their immediate vi- 
cinity into groups and dispose them to resist hostile counter- 
attacks. Rifle company weapons units move promptly to 
cover likely avenues of enemy approach. Heavy weapons and 
antitank guns which have been directed to move to the ob- 
jective begin to displace forward at once. By daylight all ele- 
ments should be in position and the battalion reserve should 
be within supporting distance of the objective. Final adjust- 
ments in machine-gun, mortar, and antitank-gun positions 
are made at dawn. 



Section IX 

160. GENERAL, o. For general characteristics of combat in 
woods, see FM 100-5. For a discussion of jungle warfare, see 
FM 72-20. For the regiment in an attack in woods, see FM 

6. The enemy is forced out of a position in woods by ma- 
neuver whenever the terrain permits such action. Situations 
where this is not practicable are considered here. The battalion 
commander must reduce a hostile defensive position by an at- 
tack through woods which extend generally across his zone of 
action. The phases of such an action are the attack against the 
near edge of the woods, the advance through the woods, and 
the exit from the woods. The near edge of the woods, or a 
terrain feature in which the edge is included, is named the 
initial objective; the far edge is often an appropriate ob- 
jective also. 

c. Accurate information of the density of the woods and 
of roads, trails, streams, natural landmarks, and obstacles 
within the woods is of particular importance. Much of this 
information can be obtained from the latest stereo-pair, vecto- 
graph and oblique photographs. Requests for such photo- 
graphs must be made as soon as possible before the need 
arises. The battalion commander orders intensive ground 
patrolling to determine the location of hostile units defending 
the near edge of the woods. 

d. When the near edge of the woods is captured, the at- 
tacking echelon usually must halt to reorganize. This usually 
involves a redisposition of smaller units in order to reduce 
distances and intervals so that cohesion can be maintained 
during the advance through the woods. Since the edge of 
the woods is a favorable target for hostile artillery and avia- 
tion, the battalion commander must reduce to a minimum 
the halt for reorganization and necessary redispositions. For 
this reason he plans the reorganization and advance through 
the woods at the same time as he plans the initial attack. 

Plans for the advance to and capture of the near edge of 



the woods will usually be similar to plans for any other at- 

b. When the attack must be made over ground entirely 
exposed to the observation and fire of a concealed enemy, it 
should be made under cover of smoke or darkness. (See sec. 

162. ADVANCE THROUGH WOODS. Resistance in woods 
may be encountered from snipers and small patrols operat- 
ing from the concealment of trees and foliage, or organized 
defensive positions with obstacles and cleared lanes of fire, 
or ambushes at defiles within the woods. Much of the firing 
is at ranges varying from 10 to 100 yards. As an attacker 
may consider a wooded area a favorable avenue of approach 
(see par. 133), the defender compensates for lack of ob- 
servation by sowing the woods with mines and booby traps, 
or by covering critical areas with prearranged fires. Ag- 
gressive reconnaissance is essential to determine the enemy 

a. In his initial attack order issued prior to the attack 
against the near edge of the woods, the battalion commander 
includes provisions for reorganization and tentative instruc- 
tions for the advance through the woods. The order includes — 

(1) Assignment of rifle companies to attacking echelon 
and reserve. Frequently the width of the battalion zone will 
require the battalion to attack with two companies abreast. 
When feasible a formation with one rifle company forward, 
one rifle company echeloned to the left rear and the other one 
to the right rear offers the greatest degree of flank security. 

(2) Instructions to attacking echelon concerning forma- 
tions, frontages, and maintenance of contact and direction. 
(a) Within each company of the attacking echelon the for- 
mation usually adopted will be small columns with reduced 
distances and intervals. Patrols and scouts precede the lead- 
ing elements. Supports follow the leading elements more 
closely than in attack in terrain affording more visibility. 
Each leading rifle company is assigned a magnetic azimuth. 

(b) The frontage assigned a leading company should not 
require it to employ a large percentage of its strength in 



connecting groups in order to maintain contact between its 
subordinate units and with adjacent companies. If woods are 
dense and the battalion frontage cannot adequately be covered 
by two leading companies, strong flank patrols from the bat- 
talion reserve should be employed to cover the intervals be- 
tween the attacking echelon and adjacent battalions. 

(3) Missions for battalion heavy weapons. When visibility 
is restricted and fields of fire are short, heavy machine-gun 
elements may be designated to follow and support certain 
specified rifle units; it may be necessary to attach elements 
to rifle companies. If a lateral edge of the woods is within 
or near the battalion zone of action, heavy machine guns 
may advance by bounds near the edge to cover the flank 
and provide antiaircraft security. The heavy weapons com- 
pany, less elements directed to support specific rifle units or 
to furnish flank protection, is ordered to follow the attacking 
echelon closely, generally in the center of the battalion zone. 

(4) The employment of the antitank platoon depends pri- 
marily on the density of the woods. In fairly open woods, 
one squad is usually directed to follow closely each flank of 
the attacking echelon, and provide protection against attacks 
from the front and flanks. When a platoon of the antitank 
company is attached, flank guns may be reinforced with guns 
from that platoon. Where the woods are so dense that hostile 
tank attack is practicable only through such avenues of ap- 
proach as roads or small clearings, guns are advanced by 
bounds to cover these approaches. If guns must be moved 
by hand, the attachment of additional personnel will be neces- 
sary. (See FM 7-35.) 

(5) Effective employment of cannon company howitzers 
in woods is limited by difficulty in maintaining direction, con- 
tact, and control; short and obstructed fields of fire; scar- 
city of suitable routes for the movement of vehicles; lack of 
adequate observation; difficulty of adjusting fire on targets 
without endangering friendly troops; and vulnerability of 
the howitzers to by-passed enemy ground elements. Positions 
affording adequate mask clearance may be found at the edges 
of existing clearings. At times it may be necessary to clear 
openings from which direct or indirect fires can be delivered, 



either by cutting or by fire against the obstructing growth ; at 
other times, the action of howitzers may be restricted to the 
delivery of direct fires across existing clearings or along 
roads and trails for the engagement of targets of opportunity. 
Elements of the cannon company may be attached to desig- 
nated infantry units in order to facilitate control and to in- 
sure local protection. (See FM 7-37.) 

(6) Instructions to the reserve. Depending on the visibility 
within the woods the reserve is kept within 300 to 500 yards 
of the leading rifle elements. 

(7) Instructions for patrolling. Instructions to the attack- 
ing echelon should provide for the establishment and main- 
tenance of contact with the enemy by intensive patrolling 
during reorganization in the near edge of the woods. 

(8) Instructions for flank and rear protection. Protection 
of the flanks and rear of the battalion is essential, since the 
concealment afforded by the woods offers opportunity for 
surprise attacks by hostile patrols or by hostile elements 
by-passed by leading rifle units. It is also frequently neces- 
sary to provide close-in rifle protection to antitank guns 
and mortars, by the attachment of small rifle elements' from 
the reserve. 

b. (1) While reorganization is being effected, the bat- 
talion commander confirms or modifies the tentative instruc- 
tions he issued before the attack against the near edge; he 
starts the advance as soon as the reorganization is completed. 
Short halts are employed to check direction and contact 
and to restore control. These halts are preferably made at 
well-defined lines or areas, such as cross trails, streams', or 
near the edge of clearings. If satisfactory areas or lines are 
not found in the woods, halts on a time schedule, or after 
advancing a specified distance on an azimuth, may be pre- 
scribed. For the advance of the leading rifle companies in 
woods, see FM 7-10. 

(2) Observers from supporting heavy weapons units, 
cannon company elements, and artillery accompany the at- 
tacking echelon. The battalion commander, accompanied by 
members of his staff and communication personnel, follows 
the attacking echelon closely and checks constantly the 



maintenance of direction and contact. When necessary, a 
liaison detail consisting of an officer of the battalion staff 
or one from the reserve company, together with intelligence 
personnel, messengers, and a radio operator, follows each 
flank of the attacking echelon closely; at times these de- 
tails will be with the patrols described in subparagraph 
a(2) (6) above. Instructions to these details should require 
them to report to the battalion commander at frequent 
intervals the location and situation of all units near which 
they are located and, when hostile resistance is met, to 
reconnoiter immediately and report the best method of 
employing the battalion reserve on their respective flanks. 

c. Heavy machine guns are employed to cover roads, 
trails, and clearings, particularly during halts. When hostile 
resistance is encountered, the attacking echelon employs 
frontal and flanking action to overcome it. Machine guns 
fire from positions near and through gaps between rifle 
units. For further details, see FM 7-15. Assistance from 
81-mm mortars, cannon company howitzers [see a(5) above], 
and artillery usually is limited by lack of observation and 
the difficulty of defining targets. The battalion commander, 
however, employs his mortars whenever overhead clearance 
permits them to fire and their fire can be observed and 
adjusted. Support from artillery and cannon company weap- 
ons is requested whenever necessary and practicable. Based 
on his own reconnaissance and that of his liaison details, 
the battalion commander commits the reserve to envelop 
hostile resistance or to meet hostile counterattacks. When 
required, elements of the reserve may be used to mop up 
areas passed through by the attacking echelon. 

163. EXIT FROM WOODS. The battalion commander re- 
organizes his battalion short of the far edge of the woods. 
The attacking echelon is held deep enough within the woods 
to avoid hostile fires directed at the far edge, while scouts 
and patrols are pushed forward to reconnoiter the terrain, 
determine hostile dispositions, and protect the reorgani- 
zation. The next objective of the battalion is selected; if 
possible, it should include terrain masking the far edge of 
the woods from hostile observation and small-arms fire. 



Orders for the continuation of the attack are then issued 
promptly. If hostile artillery fire is expected on the edge 
of the woods, leading elements of the attacking echelon may 
be directed to debouch in a single rush; if the danger from 
small-arms fire is greater than from artillery fire, the 
debouchment may be by infiltration. Heavy weapons are 
brought up and placed in position to support and protect 
the attacking echelon during the debouchment. Any neces- 
sary arrangements for fire support are made with the 
artillery liaison officer and the cannon company representa- 
tive. (See FM 7-40.) When preparations are complete, the 
advance is resumed and conducted as in any other attack. 

Section X 

164. REFERENCES. For details of Jungle Warfare, see 
FM 72-20. 

165. GENERAL. The dense growth found on the shores, 
hills, and valleys of many tropical countries, offers a serious 
obstacle to operations. It may vary from mangrove swamp, 
palm trees, sugar cane plantations, bamboo, and other giant 
grasses near the shorelines and elsewhere, to the rain for- 
ests of palms, hardwoods, vines, and matted undergrowth 
which in the interior cover moist, swampy valleys and 
rocky or slippery hillsides; even semi-arid districts may 
contain forbidding growths of thorny trees, cactus, and 
abrasive vines and shrubs. Visibility is limited in places 
to as close as five to twenty yards. Trails must often be 
hacked and cut through vegetation so resistant that un- 
opposed progress may be as little as a mile a day. Rolling 
terrain, and meadows of tall grass found on ridges and 
hillsides sometimes extend visibility and improve mobility. 
Enemy or friendly action may remove or radically change 
the character of the jungle; some types may be entirely 
blasted away by extensive shelling and bombing; sugar cane 
and tall, coarse grass, if partially dry, may be burned off 
by accident or design; such burning may influence a tacti- 



cal situation in denying an area to personnel and producing 
a smoke screen. Troops should be given as much detailed 
information as possible concerning the kind of jungle in 
■which they are about to operate. 

166. INFLUENCE ON TACTICS. The principles of of- 
fensive combat, particularly of night attacks and attacks 
in woods (see sees. VIII and IX), apply to jungle operations, 
conditioned by the restrictions the jungle imposes on ob- 
servation, maneuver, supply, and communication. The re- 
strictions on observation affect reconnaissance, security, se- 
lection of objectives, useful range of weapons, and effective- 
ness of fire support. Details of the enemy positien often 
cannot be determined prior to combat; however, the general 
extent of his area, or front and flanks, can frequently be 
determined. An initial objective is always given to each 
unit; by phase lines, if details are lacking. Flat-trajectory 
weapons follow the assault echelon ready to lend close sup- 
port or to select vantage points, and advance by bounds. 
Mortars find or create gaps in the foliage canopy through 
which to fire; by the use of multiple firing positions, they 
make a relatively small gap serve for a variety of direc- 
tions and ranges. Maneuver is hampered by the scarcity 
of trails; a battalion will often be forced to move in a 
column of files, with a depth exceeding a mile. Even with 
reduced frontages, development for attack is a lengthy 
process. The security of flanks and of the rear is a major 
problem for every unit. The necessity for long hand-carry 
places emphasis on light weapons. In many jungle situa- 
tions, the %-ton truck is the only vehicular transportation 
suitable for supply of the battalion; it is used to the utmost 
for Class I and Class V supply, but must be supplemented 
by hand-carry. Friendly natives are of great assistance 
when obtainable and when skillfully handled through their 
own leaders. 

167. COMMUNICATION. All infantry communication means 
are employed as appropriate. Telephones have proved very 
serviceable; even patrols sometimes lay wire. Radio use- 
fulness is reduced by the screening effect of foliage and 

Sig. 6 



of ground masks. Visual signaling is limited by vegetation 
and the overhead canopy of trees; but smoke, lights, and 
pyrotechnics may be used effectively by careful planning. 
Prearranged sound signals are important to security de- 
tachments. Foot messengers are the basic means of com- 
munication; these must be men of stamina and resourceful- 
ness, who can work their way with assurance through the 
wilderness or along troop columns on narrow trails, and 
deliver their messages. Subordinate leaders must assure a 
constant flow of combat information from front to rear. 

168. TANKS. Jungle terrain is unfavorable for tanks; how- 
ever, where it is not positively impassable on account of 
heavy timber, rocks, steep slopes, or soft ground, their use 
against critical and definitely located enemy resistance 
should be given consideration due to their ability to create 
paths and bring armored fire power and crushing power 
directly to the enemy. Thorough reconnaissance of routes 
of approach, together with the use of simple pioneer con- 
structions, frequently makes possible the employment of 
tanks' even in dense jungle. Tanks are attached to infantry 
companies; the two elements operate closely together, the 
infantry providing close-in protection. Direct fire of tanks 
at short ranges with armor piercing shell can provide sup- 
port for riflemen until they are within 25 yards of their 
objective. The principal value of the tanks will be in the 
use of their cannon, flame throwers, machine guns, and 
crushing weight in the destruction of enemy bunkers and 
other field fortifications. (See also FM 17-36.) 

Section XI 

169. GENERAL, o. The characteristics of city, town, and 
village fighting favor the defense. The attacker will seek 
to isolate and bypass a town which has been developed into 
a strongly defended position rather than make a direct 
attack. However, some situations require that the town itself 
be assaulted. 



b. When practicable, the populated area of a town is 
avoided; the defenders are blinded by smoke and neutralized 
by artillery and mortar fire while the attacking troops ad- 
vance on one or both sides to seize the exits. In towns 
which cannot be avoided but are lightly defended, leading 
battalions advance rapidly through the town and seize the 
exits; the defense within the town is then mopped up by 
units following in rear. (See FM 100-5.) Attack by a 
leading battalion against a strongly held town which can- 
not be reduced by either of these methods is described here. 

c. Attack through towns, particularly those in which the 
houses and buildings are close together, is characterized by 
limited observation, increased difficulty of control, and 
the necessity of attacking successive limited objectives. The 
battalion commander issues tentative orders for reorganiza- 
tion and the advance through the town at the time he 
issues instructions for the attack of the near edge. Aerial 
photographs of the town should be made available and de- 
tailed advance planning is ordinarily practicable. 

,d. When a town is so small as to be entirely within the 
battalion zone of action, the attack of a portion of the bat- 
talion should be directed to secure positions outside the 
town from which it can command the line of communication 
and retreat of the defenders and prevent their reinforce- 

170. ATTACK OF NEAR EDGE. The attack against a 
large town whose near edge or perimeter is not wholly 
within the battalion zone of action is similar to the attack 
against the near edge of woods. Units of the attacking 
echelon are assigned initial objectives on the edge of the 
town which are favorable for continuing the attack. 

171. ATTACK WITHIN A TOWN. a. When the built up 
area consists of blocks of buildings such as business sec- 
tions of cities and towns, where buildings must be attacked 
block-by-block, streets are usually designated as boundaries. 
The buildings are the immediate objectives and must be the 
responsibility of a single commander. In built up areas, as 
suburbs and residential districts, where the density of 



buildings does not require a block-by-block attack, it may 
be desirable to designate boundaries within the blocks in 
order that the houses on both sides of the street will be 
included in the zone of one attacking unit. In this case, 
cross streets provide definite objectives near which halts can 
be made to restore contact and control. Direction is easier 
to maintain in towns than in woods, but contact and con- 
trol are frequently more difficult to maintain. (See FM 

b. Although the use of streets favors control and rapid 
advance, leading troops avoid streets as much as possible, 
as they are usually well covered by enemy and friendly sup- 
porting fires. The advance ordinarily will be from house- 
to-house through side yards; over rooftops; by breaching 
walls; or through back yards, or alleys. However, when re- 
quired to advance along a street, the advance is made in 
two or more parties, each covering the opposite side of the 
street. The leading elements may move on the streets or 
through buildings and their adjoining yards. When the roofs 
of adjoining buildings are of such type as to permit free 
movement, detachments may be advanced along the roofs 
on each side of the street to prevent sniping from windows 
or house tops. Upon reaching a cross street the roof de- 
tachment covers the advance from roofs or commanding 
windows on the near side and then rejoins its unit. New 
roof detachments may be sent out at each cross street. 
Hostile resistance bypassed by the leading echelon must be 
promptly mopped up. The battalion commander either fur- 
nishes parties from his reserve to assist company supports 
in mopping up or directs companies to report any hostile 
groups they are unable to mop up without undue delay, 
and then uses his reserve to reduce these groups. Excava- 
tions ' such as cellars, are mopped up. Tunnels are recon- 
noitered and destroyed or blocked. Elements of the reserve 
are used to hold buildings already seized to prevent their 
reoccupation by the enemy. The battalion commander also 
employs elements of his reserve for close protection of his 
flanks and rear and for protection of supporting heavy 
weapons as for an attack in woods. 



c. (1) Heavy machine guns are usually advanced by 
bounds behind the leading rifle units. They may be em- 
ployed to sweep main thoroughfares at the principal inter- 
sections and to fire on any remunerative hostile targets en- 
countered, particularly troops firing from doors and win- 
dows or from apertures in barricades. 

(2) Mortars and artillery can ordinarily render effective 
support. Mortars are displaced as in any attack. Artillery 
and mortar observation is obtained from housetops, win- 
dows, and forward positions in streets. 

(3) Cannon company elements are usually attached to 
battalions. (See FM 31-50.) During the advance toward the 
town, howitzer fires are delivered against the near edge, with 
particular attention to enemy automatic weapons occupying 
positions which permit flanking fires. Concentrations of 
fire are also placed on predetermined key points within 
the town. Howitzers also prepare to deliver fires to the 
flank for protection against enveloping enemy counterat- 
tacks. Cannon units displace promptly in order to continue 
their close support of leading attacking elements. Within 
the town, much of the close support of the attacking ele- 
ments is furnished by infantry howitzers using direct fire 
against emplaced -automatic weapons, strongly fortified 
buildings, and stationary or slowly-moving armored ve- 
hicles. They may also employ high-trajectory fire against 
targets sheltered behind distant buildings. (See FM 7-37.) 

(4) In the attack of a large town, an antitank platoon 
and elements of the antitank mine platoon are frequently 
attached to each leading battalion. Antitank guns are often 
employed to neutralize automatic weapons located in forti- 
fied buildings or on the edge of the town, and which have 
not been neutralized by artillery, cannon company howitzers, 
or other supporting weapons. Within the town, all-round 
antimechanized protection is essential. Firing positions may 
be selected in buildings, taking advantage of doorways or 
loopholes knocked in the walls, in the debris of ruined build- 
ings, or behind street barricades. Antitank elements must 
be closely protected by riflemen. In the attack of a small 
town which lies entirely within the battalion zone of action, 



the antitank platoon, in conjunction with any attached or 
supporting element (s) of the antitank company, may be 
used to furnish protection to troops outside of the town, 
as well as within the town itself. (See FM 7-35.) 

(5) Within a town, tanks may advance with infantry 
squads. Tanks fire against hostile street barricades and 
against hostile snipers or machine guns in buildings, and 
at other vantage points. In advancing on a street, tanks 
should be ready to move into a side street to avoid anti- 
tank gun fire. (See FM 17-36.) 

172. EXIT FROM A TOWN. The battalion makeb its exit 
from a town in a similar manner to that from woods. 
Machine guns may support the attack from firing posi- 
tions located in buildings. 

Section XII 

173. GENERAL, a. For general principles governing opera- 
tions at river lines, see FM 100-5. For technical details of 
stream crossing equipment and the use of assault boats, 
see TM 5-270. For the regiment in attack of a river line, 
see FM 7-40. For use of tanks, see FM 17-36. 

b. When the enemy does not actively hold the river line 
or when our mobile ground forces have previously seized the 
far bank, a leading battalion is not actively employed until 
after reaching the far side of the river. In the usual case 
this is also true for a reserve battalion in an opposed 
crossing. After crossing, the operations of the battalion are 
similar to those for any attack except that, at least initially, 
ammunition may have to be brought across the river by boats 
or rafts and then hand-carried to weapon positions. 

c. When the far bank of the river is held by the enemy, 
a battalion usually attacks the river line as part of its 
regiment operating in conjunction with other forces. The 
battalion may constitute a bridgehead force or it may cross 
as a subordinate unit of a larger bridgehead force. The 
mission of such a force is to effect a crossing and seize a 



bridgehead in order to protect the subsequent crossing of 
other troops. 

d. The regimental attack order usually includes the fol- 
lowing information and instructions: 

(1) Information of the enemy and information of ter- 
rain within the area of crossing operations. 

(2) Mission, hour of crossing, zone of action, and objec- 
tives of the battalion, to include any feints which are to 
be made to divert the enemy. 

(3) Plan for the air effort and the employment of the 
regimental cannon company, artillery, and other support- 
ing troops. 

(4) Engineer materiel and personnel which will assist in 
the crossing, including where and when they will be avail- 

174. RECONNAISSANCE, a. Preparations for the crossing 
include the search for all obtainable information, both of 
the enemy and the terrain, in the area where the battalion 
is to operate. Whenever practicable, ample time is allowed 
for daylight reconnaissance by all subordinate leaders, in- 
cluding the officer of the engineer unit with whose equip- 
ment the crossing is made. If the attack is to be launched 
on the following day, small patrols are sent under cover 
of darkness to the enemy side of the river for information 
of hostile strength, composition, and dispositions. These 
patrols must return to their units several hours before 
daylight in order that effective use may be made of the 
information obtained. 

6. Personal reconnaissance by the battalion commander, 
supplemented by other directed reconnaissance and other 
sources of information, should develop all obtainable data 
concerning the following points: 

(1) Composition and distribution of hostile forces, in- 
cluding the location of enemy weapons, mine fields and 
other defensive works, and undefended or weakly defended 
crossing points. 

(2) Well-defined terrain features suitable as company ob- 



(3) Suitable locations for subordinate unit assembly areas 
on the hostile shore. 

(4) Road and trail net on the enemy side of the river. 

(5) Favorable routes of approach through the enemy 

(6) Suitable terrain features on the near side of the 
river for observation posts and for position areas for 
supporting weapons. 

(7) Location of favorable crossing points in the battalion 
zone of action, largely determined by — 

(a) Width, depth, and current of the river. 

(b) Existence of sand bars, reefs, islands, dams, or ar- 
tificial obstructions placed by the enemy. 

(c) Steepness and height above water of both river banks. 

(d) Approaches to both river banks. 

(e) Existence of fords, ferries, bridges, and old bridge 

(8) Exact location of concealed final assembly areas on 
the near side of the river. These should be readily acces- 
sible to trucks and identifiable at night. 

(9) Concealed routes which lead directly from final as- 
sembly areas to the crossing points on the near bank. 

(10) Rear assembly areas prescribed by the regiment. 

(11) Routes from the rear assembly to the final assembly 
areas. For daylight movement concealed routes are se- 
lected. For movement during darkness, well-defined and 
easily traversed routes are selected. 

175. PLANS. Based on the regimental commander's order 
and on the additional information secured through recon- 
naissance, the battalion commander prepares as detailed a 
plan as time permits. The details of the plan include — 

a. Coordination with supporting and adjacent units. 

6. Determination of width of crossing front, when not pre- 
scribed by the regimental commander. 

c. Formation for the crossing; in particular, the units to 
cross in the leading wave and the designation and initial 



location of reserve units. 

d. Allotment of assault boats to units and assignment of 
other means of crossing. 

e. Zones or frontages and initial objectives of leading rifle 
companies and determination of unit crossing points. 

/. Establishment of local security on the far bank to pro- 
tect the construction of foot bridges. 

g. Formation for the advance to initial objectives. 

h. Missions, firing position areas, and targets (or sectors 
of fire) and principal directions of fire for the heavy weap- 
ons company units, antitank platoon, and cannon company 
elements in support of the initial crossing, including the con- 
ditions under which fire will be opened. 

i. Time of crossing of battalion supporting weapons and 
their employment after crossing. 

j. Antiaircraft security during and after the crossing. 

k. Antitank defense on the hostile shore. 

I. Provisions for the early crossing of artillery and cannon 
company liaison details, cannon company reconnaissance per- 
sonnel and reconnaissance details of the heavy weapons com- 
pany and antitank platoon. 

m. Secrecy measures. 

n. Designation of final assembly areas with routes thereto 
and the hour of arrival of each unit. 

o. Provisions for guides to lead units to their final assem- 
bly areas. 

p. The place and time of contact between subordinate unit 
commanders and the engineer in charge of each group of 
assault boats or other material means of crossing. 

q. Disposition of motor vehicles. 

r. Ammunition supply, including necessary special meas- 

s. Establishment of aid stations and method of evacuation. 
t. Communication measures within the battalion and be- 
tween it and the next higher unit. 

m. Axis of signal communication and command posts. 



v. Any special information concerning the initial location 
of the battalion commander, his time of crossing, and his 
location just after crossing. 

176. ORDERS. In order to afford subordinate leaders the 
maximum time for reconnaissance and planning, the battalion 
commander issues appropriate warning orders as soon as 
practicable. The attack order is usually issued in fragmen- 
tary form and covers the movement from rear assembly 
areas on the near side of the river. The order should be 
specific and as detailed as practicable. At the initial objec- 
tive the battalion commander usually must issue additional 
orders for the continuation of the attack. 

177. WIDTH OP A CROSSING FRONT, a. The crossing 
front is usually prescribed by higher authority by means of 
boundary lines or frontages or by designating limiting points 
on the river between which the battalion is to cross. 

b. The crossing is habitually made on a broad front. For 
protection during the crossing and ease of deployment after 
landing, intervals between assault boats during the crossing 
should roughly approximate the intervals between squad col- 
umns on land. 

c. Crossing frontages vary widely. The following may be 
taken as guides which will rarely be exceeded:- 

Platoon maximum 300 yards 
Company maximum 1,200 yards 
Battalion maximum 2,400 yards 

178. FORMATION. The determination of the rifle strength 
to participate in the initial crossing depends upon the width 
of the prescribed zone of action, number of available assault 
boats or other crossing means, and the enemy situation. Rifle 
companies in the attacking echelon usually cross with three 
rifle platoons abreast. The battalion commander usually holds 
at least one rifle company or the bulk of it in reserve. 

assault boats should be provided to accommodate the lead- 
ing wave of the battalion; these boats are available for con- 



tinued ferrying operations until the completion of foot 
bridges. Ponton equipment may also be made available for 
ferrying. One or more foot bridges are usually provided. 
Ropes strung across the river will facilitate the crossing and 
provide additional safety to personnel. 

b. Tactical unity is maintained as far as possible in as- 
signing personnel to boats and other crossing expedients. One 
satisfactory method of distributing them is as follows: 

In assault boats: 

On improvised rafts or 
ferried in pontons: 

On foot bridge or ferried 
in pontons: 

Leading wave : Rifle platoons of 
attacking rifle companies. 

Second wave: Company com- 
mand groups and weapons 
platoons of attacking rifle 
companies (less transport), 
reconnaissance parties of the 
heavy weapons company and 
of the antitank platoon, ar- 
tillery forward observers, and 
cannon company reconnais- 
sance personnel. 

Third wave: Heavy weapons 
company (less transport), 
forward echelon of the bat- 
talion command post, artillery 
and attached (or supporting) 
cannon company liaison per- 

Antitank platoon. 

Battalion reserve, battalion 
headquarters company (less 
detachments), and medical 
section (less detachments). 
All motor transport. 

By ponton-raft ferry, 
ponton bridge, or infan- 
try support bridge: 

e. When the above means are not available, crossing may 
be effected by swimming supplemented by the use of the 



boats, logs, rafts, shelter tent, truck cover and tarpaulin 
floats, and hand ropes, or aerial cable-ways. (See also FMs 
7-10, 7-35, and 7-37.) 

180. OBJECTIVES, a. The initial battalion objective as- 
signed is usually a terrain feature the capture of which pre- 
vents effective hostile direct small-arms fire on the crossing 
points. Leading rifle companies are assigned portions oi this 
objective as their initial objectives. Every effort is made to 
delimit these company objectives by clearly defined, easily 
recognizable terrain features. 

b. The second objective of the battalion is usually an area 
the capture of which prevents hostile ground-observed artil- 
lery fire on the bridge sites in the river-crossing area and 
which can be supported by light artillery located on the at- 
tacker's side of the river. 

c. The final objective is usually an area the capture of 
which prevents all artillery fire on the bridge sites and pro- 
vides adequate maneuver space for further operations of 
the entire attacking force on the enemy side of the river. 

181. ASSEMBLY AREAS, a. Initial assembly area. The 
initial assembly area, normally prescribed by higher au- 
thority, is usually within easy night marching distance of 
the river line and beyond hostile light artillery range. It 
should be concealed from enemy daylight observation. 

b. Final assembly area. (1) The battalion commander se- 
lects final assembly areas for rifle companies and firing po- 
sition areas for the heavy weapons company and antitank 
platoon. The final assembly areas of units in the leading 
wave are the localities where engineer troops distribute the 
boats along the foot routes to the river so that they can be 
readily picked up by infantry carrying parties. 

(2) The chief attributes sought for final assembly areas 
are — 

(a) Ease of identification at night. 

(b) Accessibility to trucks or carrying parties which trans- 
port the assault boats to the final assembly areas. 

(c) Concealment from hostile ground and air observation. 



(d) Proximity to easily identified and concealed foot 
routes to the river. 

(e) Proximity to the actual crossing fronts. 

(f) Terrain suitable for distribution of troops parallel to 
the front. This distribution allows troops to proceed directly 
and without delay to embarkation points and permits them 
to cross the river simultaneously along the entire front. 

(g) Cover from hostile artillery and small-arms fire. 

182. MOVEMENT TO RIVER, a. Movement from initial as- 
sembly area to final assembly area. (1) The battalion com- 
mander causes guides from each subordinate unit to make 
daylight reconnaissance of their respective final assembly 
areas and of routes leading thereto from the initial assembly 
area. These routes are marked. 

(2) Before the battalion leaves the initial assembly area, 
the following actions are taken: 

(a) The orders of all subordinate units are completed. 

(b) Personnel are divided into boat groups (each consist- 
ing of the infantrymen who are to cross- in a designated as- 
sault boat) or are assigned other specific crossing means. 

(3) When practicable, the troops move forward under cen- 
tralized control until such time as subordinate units must 
diverge toward their respective final assembly areas. Com- 
pany commanders adopt march dispositions which permit boat 
groups to move into their final assembly areas prepared to 
pick up their assault boats without reorganization or delay 
and carry them promptly to the river. 

b. Movement from final assembly area to river. Upon ar- 
rival in final assembly areas, units of the leading wave are 
met by engineer guides and conducted silently to boat loca- 
tions. Though the near edge of the river is in effect the line 
of departure, the initial advance is coordinated in the final 
assembly areas, and ordinarily no pause or further coordina- 
tion is made at the river's edge; platoon leaders time the de- 
parture of the boat groups from the several final assembly 
areas so that assault boats of the leading wave are launched 
at approximately the same time. The boat groups guided 



along previously reconnoitered and marked routes carry their 
assault boats to the river. A crew of three engineers is ordi- 
narily assigned to each boat. All suitable forward routes 
from the final assembly area are used in order to avoid con- 
gestion and bunching on the more easily traversed routes. 

183. CROSSING THE RIVER. Engineers operate and are 
in charge of the boats during the crossing. Each boat starts 
across as soon as loaded and proceeds as rapidly as possible 
by the most direct route: to the opposite bank. No attempt 
is made to maintain formation of any kind while on the wa- 
ter, although intervals between boats should be preserved. 
Neither is any effort made to counteract drift by paddling 
upstream unless the relative positions of landing and em- 
barkation points and the nature of the current have led the 
battalion commander to issue prior specific orders to that 
effect. Firing from the boat is rarely attempted in daylight; 
at night it is expressly prohibited. On reaching the hostile 
shore troops disembark rapidly. The engineer boat crews 
then return the assault boats to the friendly shore and con- 
tinue ferrying operations. 

184. ATTACK AFTER CROSSING, a. After crossing, men 
promptly clear the river bank and rally at prominent terrain 
features selected by their platoon leaders. Rifle platoons, 
followed by weapons platoons, then push forward to the 
initial objective, where company commanders reestablish con- 
trol over their companies. 

b. The battalion commander sends his heavy weapons for- 
ward to reinforce his leading elements and personally crosses 
the river as soon as he observes or is notified that any of the 
leading units have seized their initial objectives. Upon ar- 
rival at the initial battalion objective the battalion com- 
mander organizes the attack against his second objective. 
He pushes this attack home without delay, employing those 
rifle elements over which he is able rapidly to regain control. 
Capture of the second objective is promptly reported to the 
regimental commander, on whose order the attack against the 
final objective is launched. 



185. SUPPORT OF CROSSING, a. Air participation and 
artillery support are arranged by the regimental or higher 
commander. He may place rifle and heavy weapons com- 
panies of reserve units and units not engaged in the initial 
crossing in positions from which they may fire on the far 
bank in support of the initial crossing wave. For daylight 
crossing, chemical troops are often made available to the 
bridgehead force, in which case the crossing is usually ef- 
fected under cover of a smoke screen laid on the far bank. 

6. (1) The heavy weapons of the battalion are initially 
emplaced in positions from which they are prepared to cover 
by fire the crossing of the landing wave. (See FM 7-15.) 

(2) Usually the thick woods often found along a river 
line together with the wide crossing front compel the wide 
separation of heavy machine-gun platoons. When this is the 
case, mission type orders to support a particular rifle com- 
pany during and after the crossing are given to each platoon. 

(3) When practicable, the 81-mm mortars are emplaced 
in positions from which they can fire upon any hostile re- 
sistance, especially automatic weapons, located on the cross- 
ing front of the battalion. 

(4) All heavy weapons (less transport) are crossed with- 
out delay when the far bank has been secured by the leading 

c. If suitable firing positions are available, the antitank 
guns are placed on the near bank so as to provide initial anti- 
tank protection to the leading wave on the far bank. If no such 
firing positions are available on the near bank, antitank guns 
are held under cover near the river. All guns cross as soon 
as the far bank is secured. They usually cross the river in 
pontons or by means of improvised raft ferries prepared by 
the engineers. 

d. Howitzers attached to or in close support of the bat- 
talion are moved into firing positions immediately prior to 
the hour of attack, but do not open fire until the attack is 
discovered, and then only upon appropriate targets. Howitzers 
are placed as near the river as possible in order to cover ef- 
fectively the principal crossing, but not so far forward that 
the noise made by prime movers destroys the element of sur- 



prise. Position areas and observation posts are located with 
particular reference to the actual or probable locations of 
enemy supporting weapons, reserves, and observation posts 
on the far side of the river. Howitzers should be transported 
across the stream as soon as the attacking echelon has seized 
the first objective. After the crossing is effected the howitz- 
ers provide close support to the battalion during the advance 
to the second objective. If attached, they so remain until the 
second objective is captured, at which time they usually re- 
vert to company control and support the attack against the 
next objective as in any other coordinated attack. At the 
time of crossing, howitzers must have full organic loads of 
ammunition on prime movers; provision for early replenish- 
ment must be made in advance. 

e. If the crossing is to be forced against a strongly held 
river line during daylight, the leading wave usually crosses 
under the cover of all available supporting fires. Otherwise 
the supporting artillery, infantry cannon, and heavy weapons 
remain silent until the crossing is discovered by the enemy. 

186. SECURITY. After effecting a river crossing, elements 
of the battalion promptly establish security measures as for 
any daylight attack. Vigorous patrolling, especially on the 
flanks to secure early information of hostile counterattacks, 
is essential. 

a. Antiaircraft security. The neutralization of all hostile 
air operations over the crossing area after the crossing is 
discovered is vital. Higher authority usually provides avia- 
tion and antiaircraft units for antiaircraft security. A part 
of the heavy machine guns of the battalion may assist anti- 
aircraft units or may be employed in lieu thereof in anti- 
aircraft missions. 

6. Antimechanized defense. After crossing the river, anti- 
mechanized defense must be promptly established. Organic 
and attached antitank guns and antitank mines if available, 
are employed in the same manner as for any daylight attack. 

187. SUPPLY AND EVACUATION. In river crossing oper- 
ations the problems of supply and evacuation differ from 



normal only between the time of landing of the leading wave 
and the subsequent crossing of motor transport. 

a. Supply. (1) Individuals who participate in the initial 
crossing operations are usually provided with one or more in- 
dividual reserve rations. 

(2) Ammunition required in the initial phase of operations 
on the hostile shore is carried on the person and in assault 
boats. Some ammunition may be dropped on the far side of 
the river by parachute when airplanes are available. Ordi- 
narily, however, the replenishment of ammunition for heavy 
weapons and antitank guns must be accomplished by hand- 
carry, via assault boats and footbridges, and is a serious prob- 
lem. The battalion commander facilitates this supply by the 
following methods, either singly or in combination: 

(a) He may set up an advanced ammunition supply point 
on the hostile shore close to the route of ammunition advance. 
By means of carrying parties especially detailed for the pur- 
pose, and by using boats, rafts, or footbridges, ammunition 
is moved from the battalion ammunition supply point on the 
near side to the advanced ammunition supply point. Ammu- 
nition is accumulated there and carried by hand to the using 
units on call, or is issued to carrying parties from front-line 

(b) He may attach additional personnel to the heavy weap- 
ons company and the antitank platoon. These men assist 
the organic ammunition bearers to move ammunition from 
the ammunition supply point on the near side of the river di- 
rect to the using units. 

b. Evacuation. (1) Casualties occurring on the near bank 
are usually evacuated to the regimental aid stations or aid 
stations of reserve units if they are in the vicinity, if not, 
the battalion aid station is set up on the near side of the 

(2) The surgeon crosses with the battalion command 
group. The bulk of the battalion medical section usually 
crosses behind the battalion reserve. It establishes the aid 
station on the far side of the river without delay. The evacua- 
tion of casualties to the rear from this aid station is limited 



to those who can be transported in returning assault boats 
until such time as footbridges are completed. 

188. SIGNAL COMMUNICATION, a. (1) The forward 
echelon of the battalion command post usually crosses in the 
third wave of assault boats. The remainder of the command 
post personnel and equipment crosses not later than the cap- 
ture of the initial objective; usually it displaces forward to 
the far side behind the reserve. Wide latitude is accorded 
the battalion commander in the selection of command posts. 

(2) Due to the difficulties of control the prompt and ac- 
curate reporting of company command post locations is em- 

b. (1) Prior to the departure of the leading wave from the 
near river bank, the usual communication agencies are nor- 
mally employed except that radios remain silent if in the in- 
terest of secrecy. 

(2) With the crossing of the leading wave the ban on the 
use of radio is usually lifted. The voice radio then becomes 
the chief means of communication between the battalion com- 
mander and his forward elements. 

(3) Higher headquarters may furnish additional voice 
radios to the battalion. 

(4) Communication to the front and rear is maintained 
initially by radio, visual signals, and messengers. When 
available, pigeons and airplanes may be used for communica- 
tion to the rear. 

(5) Wire lines are usually extended across the river on 
foot or ponton bridges. They can rarely be strung over the 
river unless the stream is very narrow. 

vised means of crossing a stream are employed by the bat- 
talion when standard crossing facilities are not available in 
sufficient quantity, or when the situation demands an attack 
of the river line before engineer crossing means can be pro- 

b. (1) The principles and technique of crossing with im- 
provised means are the same as for crossing with standard 



equipment and are applied as completely as time and facilities 
permit. The means employed to cross may consist primarily 
of swimming supplemented by the use of boats, logs, rafts, 
and any other suitable material found in the neighborhood. 

(2) The shelter tent float, which can be prepared by two 
riflemen in 7 minutes, is one improvised means of ferrying 
rifle company combat equipment. For details of construction, 
see FM 7-10. Ammunition and other supplies vital to the 
initial stage of the operation on the enemy side are appor- 
tioned to the two-man teams and ferried across. 

(3) As soon as the far bank has been secured by the lead- 
ing echelon, antitank guns and heavy weapons are ferried 
across promptly by means of amphibious vehicles, impro- 
vised pontons, brush rafts, and other expedients. (See FMs 
7-15 and 7-35.) 

c. (1) If the ammunition train and kitchen and baggage 
train are released to the battalion, the canvas covers of the 
2% -ton trucks are available for use in floating %-ton trucks 
as described in FMs 7-35 and 7-37. Box frames and outriggers 
may also be used for ferrying %-ton trucks. 

(2) Other transport is usually left under cover on the 
near side of the river until such time as bridges or heavy 
rafts can be constructed. 

Section XIII 

190. CHARACTERISTICS. A fortified position is a defense 
area which contains, in addition to usual defensive works, 
numerous steel or concrete defensive works deliberately 
placed to resist the penetrating action of high power pro- 
jectiles and block access to the position. The defensive works 
usually consist of fortified weapon emplacements, er bunkers, 
and protected shelters, together with intrenchments and ob- 
stacles. For a general discussion of the employment of in- 
fantry in an attack against a fortified position, see FM 100-5. 
For further characteristics of permanent works, the organi- 
zation of assault units, and more detailed methods of at- 



tacking a fortified position, see FM 31-50. The general char- 
acteristics of this operation pertaining to the battalion are 
as follows : 

a. Usually a wide continuous antitank and antipersonnel 
obstacle must be breached to reach the hostile position. The 
position itself may be organized in great depth. 

6. Because of the completeness of the defensive prepara- 
tions local counterattacks must be expected early in the at- 
tack, and more powerfully supported counterattacks as the 
penetration is deepened and widened. 

e. Thorough reconnaissance is required; detailed informa- 
tion of the enemy is essential. 

d. Ordinarily, a relatively long time is available for prep- 
arations. When this is the case, rehearsals should be con- 
ducted on terrain similar to that which is to be attacked, with 
mockups duplicating the enemy defense system. 

e. Stringent measures must be taken to insure secrecy. 

/. Initially, the attack is methodical and is made according 
to detailed plans. Each bunker or other fortified emplac- 
ment must be the specific objective of a designated unit. The 
sequence of engaging such features is based upon a thorough 
understanding of the enemy's situation and defense plan; 
this takes into consideration the armament, sectors of fire 
and dead space of these features. In the later stages coordi- 
nation by higher commanders will be reduced, and initiative 
and bold action by subordinate commanders will be required. 

g. For the initial phase of the attack, plans as well as 
orders to subordinate units must be in great detail. 

191. PLAN OF ATTACK. The battalion plan of attack must 
be based upon careful reconnaissance, including a thorough 
study of aerial photographs and of the reports of visual air 
reconnaissance. It must be coordinated with the plans for the 
employment of aviation and supporting weapons which are 
controlled by higher commanders. 

a. Attachments. Attached elements may include engineers 
with demolition equipment, additional antitank guns, anti- 
aircraft guns, regimental cannon company elements, chemi- 
cal units, tank destroyers, and tanks. 



b. Attacking echelon. The battalion commander directs the 
organization of assault detachments within the rifle com- 
panies, and their reinforcement with special equipment such 
as flame throwers, bangalore torpedoes and other demolition 
charges. The size of assault detachments and their special 
equipment will vary to meet the needs of particular situa- 
tions. Their mission is to breach wire and reduce fortified 
works. Companies in the attacking echelon support the ac- 
tion of assault detachments by neutralizing hostile elements 
able to interfere with the latter and by capturing intrench- 
ments supporting the permanent works. They rapidly occupy 
and hold all ground gained. They replace casualties in as- 
sault detachments and furnish new detachments. Engineers 
(or other specially trained troops) will usually prepare cross- 
ings over and through antitank obstacles including the clear- 
ing of gaps through mine fields. They may reinforce an as- 
sault detachment where a large amount of demolition work 
is anticipated. Tanks and engineers cooperate in placing 
demolition snakes where they will destroy obstacles and em- 
placements, and open up gaps for the entry of both tanks 
and infantry into the position. (See par. 136.) 

c. Reserve. The reserve usually consists of at least one 
rifle company. (See par. 135/.) 

d. Supporting weapons. Employment of the battalion 
heavy weapons and antitank guns and of supporting elements 
is similar to that for any attack. In a fortified position each 
strong point is supported usually by the fire of one or more 
adjacent strong points. Supporting weapons, by their fire, 
isolate enemy positions assigned as objectives to assault rifle 
elements by neutralizing those enemy strong points which 
support the objectives. Principal differences are as follows: 

(1) Planning for their use in the initial attack will be 
more detailed. 

(2) Antitank guns, tanks, and tank destroyers may exe- 
cute direct fire on loopholes and openings in hostile fortifi- 

(3) Mortars will fire a large proportion of smoke and 
heavy shell. 


191-193 1 

(4) Machine guns and mortars will frequently participate 
in preparatory fires. 

(5) Emphasis is placed on the use of armor-piercing am- 
munition which will penetrate and destroy concrete and steel 
defensive structures. 

(6) Infantry howitzers may be employed for direct fire 
against steel embrasure doors, or against slits and loopholes. 

192. PREPARATIONS. Preparations include thorough train- 
ing of all personnel in their assigned duties and training of 
replacements for key members of assault detachments. The 
battalion commander arranges for a rehearsal of the initial 
phases of the attack. Because of the difficulties of blinding 
or neutralizing all hostile observation, the preparation of 
gaps through the obstacles in front of the hostile position 
will usually be made at night or under a dense smoke screen. 
Therefore rehearsals of assault detachments charged with 
preparing these gaps should be conducted under similar con- 

193. CONDUCT OF ATTACK, a. Under cover of darkness 
or a dense smoke screen, the troops move to the line of de- 
parture, and direct-fire guns move into position. The com- 
panies move forward in the attack under cover of artillery 
fires, direct gunfire, smoke, and other battalion supporting 
fires. The assault detachments breach the wire and advance 
on the forts, bunkers, or pillboxes, maneuvering to take ad- 
vantage of dead spaces in the fires from embrasures. Before 
the direct-fire guns lift, the embrasures are taken under fire 
by weapons within assault detachments. Under cover of these 
fires, of local smoke, and the protection afforded by fire and 
maneuver of other elements of the companies, the assault 
detachment moves in and reduces the fortification. 

6. Prompt action is taken to mop up and guard against 
the reactivation of these fortified points and any underground 
passages. Assault detachments, resupplied with key men, or 
fresh assault detachments which have taken their place, 
push on to reduce other permanent works. 

c. The battalion commander is alert to act quickly when 
unexpected resistance or obstacles are encountered within the 


position; he promptly employs his reserve, when necessary, 
to keep his attack moving and to meet hostile counterattacks. 
As the attack progresses and control becomes more difficult, 
he may attach supporting weapons to attacking rifle com- 

attack against a position which the enemy has held over a 
considerable period of time, but on which he has not built 
permanent fortifications, closely resembles an attack against 
a fortified position. Similar care is required in planning and 
in organization, but usually there will be no time for re- 
hearsals since the longer the attack is delayed the more time 
the enemy will have to prepare his defense. The same con- 
stant alertness and timely action to defeat counterattack are 

Section XIT 

195. GENERAL, a. Purpose. Raids are made to capture 
prisoners ; to capture or destroy materiel ; to obtain informa- 
tion of hostile dispositions, strength, works, intentions, or 
methods of defense ; and to inspire confidence and aggressive- 
ness in the raiding troops and harass the enemy. 

b. Characteristics. A raid is an attack followed by an in- 
stant withdrawal upon accomplishment of the mission. Un- 
less carefully planned and executed, the withdrawal is the 
most difficult and costly part of the operation. Flank se- 
curity is of vital importance, since both flanks of the raiding 
force are exposed. 

c. Initiation. Unless the battalion is detached, raids are 
usually ordered by the regimental commander. When he or- 
ders a raid, the regimental commander issues instructions 
covering its purpose and the fire support to be furnished the 
battalion. Frequently he will also prescribe the area to be 
raided, the size of the force to be employed, and the date and 
hour of the raid. 

d. Classes. (1) Raids are classified as supported and un- 




(2) Supported raids may be made in daylight or darkness. 
They depend for protection on surprise and the fires of sup- 
porting weapons. 

(3) Unsupported raids are conducted without the fires of 
supporting weapons and depend primarily on surprise and on 
darkness, fog, or smoke, for protection. 

(4) When the mission requires the capture of a few pris- 
oners, followed by immediate withdrawal, an unsupported 
raid by a small force is preferable. When the mission requires 
the use of a larger force, or that the raiding force remain 
in the hostile position for any length of time, the fires of 
supporting weapons will usually be required for adequate 
protection, particularly during the withdrawal. 

e. Organization of raiding force. The raiding force is sub- 
divided into smaller task forces, each organized and equipped 
to accomplish a specific purpose. Task forces may include 
assault parties for accomplishing missions within the hostile 
position, parties to provide security for the assault parties, 
parties for handling prisoners or removing captured materiel, 
and a reserve party for use in emergency. Advance and flank 
security parties are provided to deal with hostile patrols 
to the front and protect the flank. The exact organization 
varies with each situation. Tactical unity is maintained as 
far as practicable; however, each party should be organized 
for the specific mission which it is expected to accomplish. 

to be raided should be one which is lightly defended, or one 
which is difficult for the enemy to defend because of re- 
stricted fields of fire. In daylight raids, covered routes of 
approach and withdrawal are desirable. 

b. The selection of an area close to friendly front lines 
and the absence of serious obstacles or difficult ground to 
traverse, speeds up the raid and facilitates the withdrawal. 
In the case of a supported raid it also facilitates fire sup- 

c. If the raid is to be supported the area should be so lo- 
cated that it can be isolated by placing fires to neutralize 



adjacent and rearward hostile positions without endangering 
the raiding force. 

197. SIZE OF RAIDING FORCE. The size of the raiding 
force should be kept to the minimum which can reasonably 
be expected to accomplish the purpose of the raid. As the 
size of the raiding force increases so do the difficulties of 
achieving surprise, control, and speed of execution. 

198. RAIDS BY THE BATTALION. The battalion as a unit 
engages only in supported raids. Each plan must be devised 
to fit the existing terrain and situation. A simple plan, thor- 
oughly understood by all the raiding troops, and thorough 
reconnaissance are essential. Subordinate commanders should 
make at least one night reconnaissance in addition to that 
made in daylight, if the raid is to be made at night. 

a. Date and hour of raid. The maximum amount of time 
should be allowed for reconnaissance, planning, registration 
of supporting fires, and rehearsals. At least one night should 
intervene between the receipt of orders for the raid and its 
execution. Supported raids are preferably carried out at 
dawn, twilight, or under similar conditions of low visibility, 
in order to limit hostile observation and yet have enough light 
for close combat purposes. However, supported raids have 
been sucessfully executed both in broad daylight and in full 
darkness. Successful execution of a raid in broad daylight 
in usually dependent on the ability to blind all artillery ob- 
servation posts with smoke. 

6. Routes of advance and withdrawal. (1) Unless the raid 
is to be conducted under cover of full darkness, fog, or smoke, 
a covered route (or routes) of approach should be utilized 
and the raid launched from the last covered position. Under 
conditions of reduced visibility, flank and advance security 
parties precede the battalion in ample time to clear hostile 
patrols from the area and prevent premature discovery of 
the raid. 

(2) Whenever practicable, the withdrawal is made by 
route (s) other than those used in the advance. In any case, 
the route (s) of withdrawal must avoid the known or sus- 
pected location of all hostile defensive barrages, as the enemy 



is certain to put down these defensive fires before the raid can 
be completed. Similarly, road intersections or other promi- 
nent landmarks are avoided. 

c. Rallying points. The battalion commander prescribes 
a rallying point for each rifle company. It should be a con- 
cealed and defiladed locality within the friendly lines. Its 
purpose is to enable units to be promptly reassembled and to 
facilitate the prompt collection and transmission to higher 
headquarters of all materiel, prisoners, and information 
gathered in the course of the raid. 

d. Passage of enemy obstacles. A raid against a well-or- 
ganized position must usually overcome enemy barbed wire 
entanglements. Barbed wire is usually cut by leading ele- 
ments with wire cutters in accordance with prearranged 
plans. If the wire is too extensive for this to be done rapidly, 
surprise may have to be forfeited by employing artillery to 
destroy the entanglements or by using Bangalore torpedoes 
to blow out sections of the wire. Some types of wire may be 
crossed without cutting by using chicken wire rolls. Mine 
fields are, if practicable, neutralized in advance. Even if this 
is done, however, the leading elements of the raiding party 
must include men experienced in detecting and disarming 
mines and booby traps. They will breach the mined area 
without forfeiting the secrecy of the attack; at the con- 
clusion of the attack, they may be required to open another 
lane(s) for withdrawal. 

e. Training. Time is often available for rehearsals, par- 
ticularly in a stablized situation. At least one daylight re- 
hearsal and, for night raids, an additional night rehearsal 
should be held whenever possible. These rehearsals should be 
conducted on ground that is similar to the area to be raided. 

/. Equipment. (1) The battalion commander prescribes 
the equipment to be carried. For night raids similar equip- 
ment and means of identification to those for night attacks 
are prescribed. (See par. 157o and p.) 

(2) Measures are frequently taken to make the appear- 
ance of the troops blend with the terrain. For example, white 
cloth may be worn over the uniform to match snow; at other 
times both the clothing and the hands and faces may be 



smeared with mud, pot black, or charcoal. 

(3) If the purpose of the raid includes the capture of 
heavy or cumbersome materiel, some improvised means of 
towing or carrying this equipment may have to be prepared 
in advance. Tanks may be employed for this purpose. 

(4) Rehearsals should be conducted with the troops carry- 
ing the exact equipment prescribed for the raid. 

g. Supporting fires. (1) Supporting fires should neu- 
tralize all hostile positions within effective radius of the 
area to be raided and box in the area so as to isolate the de- 
fending troops. These fires must be precisely prearranged 
as to targets and as to signals to be used. Supporting fires 
may begin either at a specified time or upon call (by prear- 
ranged pyrotechnic signal and voice radio) of the raid com- 
mander. Signals are also used for shifting or lifting fires. 

(2) Since the prescribed fires must be accurately placed 
under any conditions of visibility, they should be registered 
in advance. In order to preserve secrecy, registration should 
cover a considerable number of points in addition to those for 
which data are desired and, if possible, should be spread 
out over a period of more than 1 day. 

(3) Artillery may be employed to box in the objective by 
fire on adjacent and rearward hostile positions and on ave- 
nues of enemy approach both during the raid and to cover 
the withdrawal. Supporting fires prior to the raid may 
sacrifice secrecy and surprise; however, the strength of the 
position may require that a short preparation be placed on 
the area to be raided. 

(4) Mortars extend or fill gaps in the fires of the artillery. 
Heavy machine guns place bands of fire near the flanks of 
the area; they may also be employed to thicken the artillery 

(5) If certain weapons are to fire on more than one target 
during the raid, specific instructions as to when their fire is 
to be shifted are included in the order. 

h. Withdrawal. The time when the various elements of the 
raiding force start back to their own lines is either desig- 
nated in advance or announced by a prearranged sound or 



pyrotechnic signal. 

i. Conduct. (1) If made at night or under conditions of 
reduced visibility the raid is conducted in a similar manner 
to a night attack (see sec. VIII); if conducted in daylight 
it will differ from any other daylight attack principally in 
the rapidity with which it is carried to a conclusion. The 
withdrawal of the assault parties is covered by the advance 
and flank security parties. 

(2) The principal duties of the battalion commander dur- 
ing the raid will be to decide when to call for, shift, or lift 
supporting fires, to be constantly on the alert for unex- 
pected hostile reactions, to take prompt and adequate meas- 
ures to meet any unforeseen emergency, and to decide when 
to order the withdrawal. 

further discussion of the rifle company in supported and un- 
supported raids, see FM 7-10. 

o. Supported raids. The battalion commander designates 
the officer to command the raiding force and, taking into ac- 
count his recommendations, prescribes the composition of the 
force and arranges for the necessary supporting fires. He 
prescribes the mission, time, objective, route of advance, 
route of withdrawal, and rallying point for the raid. He in- 
sures that ample opportunity is allowed for day and night 
reconnaissance and arranges for rehearsals if these are con- 
templated. The organization of the raiding force and the de- 
tailed instructions for its conduct are usually left to the dis- 
cretion of the commander of the raiding force. Adjacent and 
supporting units are informed of the raid. 

b. Unsupported raids. The battalion commander selects 
the rifle company to furnish the raiding force. He assigns 
the mission, approximate time, and objective of the raid; he 
usually leaves other details to the rifle company commander 
and the commander of the raiding force. He insures that all 
adjacent troops are informed of the raid and of the route 
of advance and withdrawal. 



Section XV 

200. GENERAL. Landings on a hostile shore are made by 
joint task forces to seize an adequate area (beachhead) for 
further operations. The ground, air, and naval components 
participate jointly. In broad principle, the navy is respon- 
sible up to the time that the beachhead is established. Nor- 
mally authority superior to the battalion does much of the 
planning. It selects the beaches; allocates the ships and the 
landing craft and supplies much data on their characteristics 
to the battalion landing team commander; indicates the place 
and time of landing, the mission and objectives; and briefs the 
troops as to the terrain and the enemy situation. Certain 
loading and landing tables may be provided, but organization 
of the battalion for assault will be a responsibility of the 
battalion commander. Beaches are studied by means of maps, 
charts, models, air photos and air and amphibious patrols and 
reconnaissance; battalion commanders participate in air re- 
connaissance when practicable. Troops are combat-loaded 
on ships with all essential equipment; this includes weapons, 
organic loads of ammunition, rations, water, and properly 
waterproofed communication equipment and indespensable 
transportation. For further details, see FMs 7-35, 7-37, and 

201. RESPONSIBILITY OF NAVY. a. The navy controls 
the ship-to-shore or shore-to-shore movement; it moves the 
troops in a series of waves of landing craft, in compliance 
with the army plan, coordinating on a naval line of departure 
two miles or more off shore. The battalion landing team, 
under normal conditions on one combat loaded transport, 
(APA), or on several landing ships or crafts, may be con- 
veyed ashore in a varying number of waves. Normally the 
entire battalion landing team can be lifted in one trip of the 
available landing craft or amphibian tractors. An illustration 
might be: 

1st Wave) Attacking rifle companies, specially or- 
2nd Wave) ganized as self-sufficient boat teams. 



3rd Wave) Heavy weapons company, battalion com- 
4th Wave) marid group, and sections of shore party 

(service troops). 
5th Wave) Antitank platoon, medical detachment, 

and remaining battalion elements. 
6th Wave) Attached units including artillery, and 

the remainder of the shore party. 
7th Wave) Tanks, if employed. 
Conditions may dictate the placing of tanks in an early 

b. The length of time required to place the battalion land- 
ing team on shore depends on various naval factors such as 
distance and speed of boats. For reasons of secrecy and con- 
cealment, night may be the best time for landing. If so, it is 
desirable that the first wave be started at such an hour that 
the last waves reach shore by dawn in order to give the at- 
tacking companies the beinefit of the complete team support. 
A beach party (navy personnel) commanded by a beach- 
master, receives, dispatches and controls the landing craft at 
the beach. The beachmaster is an assistant to the Shore 
Party Commander. The shore party ( army personnel) has re- 
sponsibility for the logistic support of the battalion landing 
team in organization and operation of beach activities. 

each boat team are given special objective training for as- 
sault, and detailed instructions as to their equipment and 
conduct. Each man has his designated place in the boat. Per- 
sonal equipment is light. Bayonets are fixed just prior to 
landing. Smoking is prohibited. Troops crouch low. They 
habitually debark at the run, at high port, alternately to 
right and left, breach such obstacles as oppose them, and 
fight as a team at least to the first objective. 

203. CONDUCT OP THE ATTACK. An initial objective, 
unmistakably identified, must be given each of the attacking 
boat teams before they land; it will generally be the first 
enemy-held terrain feature, or the first terrain feature af- 
fording firing positions for the boat teams. Successive objec- 



tives may be indicated by the regimental commander in the 
form of beachhead phase lines and zones of action. Once 
'ashore, the battalion operates according to the principles of 
offensive tactics. The water's edge is the infantry line of 
departure. At the first objective or phase line, company and 
battalion commanders may regain control without delaying 
the advance. Every effort is made to get inland from the 
beach, thus clearing it for following troops, and to deprive the 
enemy of his observation of the beach. Initiative is at a pre- 
mium. Boats or waves may go astray. Troops must be pre- 
pared to land at an unexpected place, and fight on the wrong 
beach. Assault riflemen can expect an early counterattack by 
enemy tanks and should be prepared to fight with rocket 
launchers and antitank rifle grenades if antitank guns have 
not yet been landed. Prompt dispatch to the regiment of in- 
formation on the situation, particularly the gaining of objec- 
tives, and enemy strength and activity, is of utmost impor- 

204. COMMUNICATION. The establishment and mainte- 
nance of communication is vital to landing operations. This 
is provided for by care in waterproofing, landing, and prompt- 
ly installing the organic equipment; by provision for special 
personnel and equipment in the shore party to communicate 
with higher headquarters still on shipboard; by cooperation 
with naval agencies; and by prearranged visual means, par- 
ticularly colored lights and beach markers. 

205. FIRE SUPPORT. If profitable targets have been ac- 
curately located, air bombing or preparatory naval fires may 
precede the landing. Considerations of secrecy may, however, 
dictate the withholding of naval fires until the landing is 
discovered. Close fire support by naval guns is controlled 
through a joint liaison party, the shore fire control party, 
which functions with each landing team. Normally a battery 
of light artillery is attached to each assault battalion. Mass- 
ing of artillery fires will not be possible until the regimental 
combat team is ashore. In night attack antitank and anti- 
aircraft weapons should be ashore by dawn ready to resist 
armored counterattack. Cannon elements should also be 



available for targets of opportunity, including halted ar- 
mored vehicles. Rifle companies must, however, be prepared 
to take and hold objectives by their own means over a con- 
siderable period. 


Chapter 9 



Section I 

206. REFERENCES. For fundamental doctrines of defen- 
sive combat, see FM 100-5. For principles governing defensive 
combat of the infantry regiment, see FM 7-40. For measures 
to be taken for individual protection and concealment and for 
types of emplacements for weapons, see FMs 7-10, 7-15, 7-35, 
and 7-37. For tactics of the battalion antitank platoon and 
details of antimechanized defense, see FMs 5-30 and 7-35. 
For the employment of tanks and tank destroyers with in- 
fantry, see FMs 17-36 and 18-5. For employment of artillery, 
see FM 6-20. For principles governing signal communication 
in the defense, see FMs 7-25 and 7-24. 

TIONS, a. A regiment assigned to the defense of a sector 
of the battle position distributes its elements in three eche- 
lons: security forces, holding garrisons, and a reserve. It 
usually assigns two battalions to the defense of the main 
line of resistance (holding garrisons) and holds one battalion 
in reserve. The security echelon may be furnished by the 
holding garrisons, by the division, or initially, by the reserve 

6. The regimental commander assigns battalion defense 
areas to the holding garrisons by designating boundaries 
and limiting points. He may include further detailed instruc- 
tions concerning the trace of the main line of resistance. 
Boundaries define the lateral limits of responsibility. They 
extend forward as far as the range of the weapons with which 
the battalion is equipped and include the combat outpost line 
in order to fix the responsibility for the defense of the latter. 
Tjhey extend rearward at least as far as the rear limits of 
the battalion defense area. Easily recognizable terrain fea- 
tures are designated as limiting points, where commanders 
arrange to meet, or send representatives to meet, to coordi- 

■ !G 7 



nate their defensive dispositions and insure mutual fire sup- 
port. (See par. 225a.) 

208. SIGNAL COMMUNICATION. Maximum coordination 
of the efforts of the elements of the defending force, execu- 
tion of the fire plan, and cooperation with adjacent units 
cannot be secured without a well-developed and efficient sys- 
tem of signal communication adapted to the type of defensive 
action contemplated. All means of signal communication 
available in the offense are usually available for defensive 
operations. Familiarity with the terrain, relatively greater 
time available for planning and installation, and prior pro- 
vision of greater quantities of signal supplies make it pos- 
sible to develop elaborate signal communication systems, in- 
cluding wire lines, to small infantry units. 

Section II 

209. FRONTAGE AND DEPTH. A battalion occupying a 
defense area on the main line of resistance will usually be 
assigned a frontage of 1,000 to 2,000 yards, depending on the 
defensive strength of the terrain. When a battalion occupies 
a vital area having poor observation and poor fields of fire, 
such as in heavily wooded, broken terrain, the frontage should 
not exceed 1,000 yards. Where the area is more open and 
affords longer fields of fire, a frontage of 1,500 to 2,000 
yards may be appropriate. On flat, open terrain as much as 
2,500 yards may not be excessive. Exceptionally, when ob- 
stacles in front of the position, such as swamps or streams, 
make a strong attack against the area improbable, a front- 
age of not to exceed 3,500 yards may be assigned. The depth 
of the defense area may vary from 800 to 1,400 yards. The 
regimental commander may indicate the depth of the area 
by the rearward extent of the battalion boundary or by the 
designation of a terrain feature. The battalion is responsible 
for the defense of its assigned area. All installations of the 
battalion are contained within the area with the exception 
of administrative installations such as the battalion ammu- 



nition supply point. Regimental approval is obtained before 
any such installations are located outside of the assigned 
defense area. 

commander places his unit without loss of time in the area 
which it is to defend in order to afford the maximum time 
for the construction of defensive works. As soon as the bat- 
talion defense area is designated by the regimental com- 
mander and before beginning his reconnaissance, the bat- 
talion commander, after a map study, provides for the re- 
sumption or continuation of the movement of his battalion 
toward the assigned area. He arranges for subordinate com- 
manders to precede their units and furnishes them with 
transportation when practicable. He will usually designate, 
within the defense area, assembly area(s) to which the bat- 
talion, under command of the executive officer, is to move. 
However, when practicable, the battalion commander makes 
timely decisions which will enable subordinate units to move 
directly to their assigned defense areas without halting in 
assembly area(s) and begin the work of organization. The 
battalion is responsible for its local security during the move- 
ment to the position and throughout its organization. 

211. RECONNAISSANCE, a. The reconnaissance of the 
battalion commander will be as detailed as time permits. In 
the hasty assumption of the defensive, a map study may 
take the place of a reconnaissance. 

6. In the assumption of the defensive while out of contact 
with the enemy, the battalion commander will ordinarily 
direct S-3, the communication officer, the heavy weapons com- 
pany commander, commanders of attached units, and the ar- 
tillery liaison officer to accompany him on reconnaissance. 
Other personnel may be directed to make detailed reconnais- 
sance and report on specified areas or to reconnoiter and 
recommend locations for installations, weapons, and mine 

c. The battalion commander first identifies the area the 
battalion is to occupy and selects covered approaches into the 
area. He then makes a plan for his own reconnaissance, in- 



eluding the route he will take. His further reconnaissance 
determines the following: 

(1) The most likely avenues of approach for hostile foot 
troops and armored forces. 

(2) Localities to be occupied by security forces in order 
to screen the position from close hostile observation. (See 
par. 223.) 

(3) Any natural obstacles in the foreground, or terrain 
features that can be converted readily into obstacles. 

(4) Demolitions to be effected. 

(5) Key points within the battalion area, the retention of 
which by the battalion and subordinate units is vital to the 
defense, particularly those which afford essential observa- 

(6) The trace of the main line of resistance. 

(7) Boundary and limiting point between companies. 

(8) General locations for machine guns in close support 
of the main line of resistance. 

(9) General locations' for 81-mm and attached chemical 
mortars and areas to be covered by their fires; areas into 
which supporting cannon company elements are to be pre- 
pared to fire. 

(10) Details of defensive fires and barrages to be re- 
quested from the supporting artillery. (See FMs 6-20 and 

(11) General locations for antipersonnel mines, booby 
traps, and wire entanglements. 

(12) General locations for antitank weapons' and mines. 

(13) General locations for rear machine guns. [See par. 

(14) Locations of suitable attack positions and routes 
thereto for counterattacking tanks. 

(15) Locations to be organized by the battalion reserve; 
its assembly area, if held mobile, and its direction (s) of 

(16) Location of observation post(s) from which the bat- 



talion area and its surroundings can be viewed. 

(17) Location of the aid station, ammunition supply point, 
command post, and alternate command post. 

212. PLANS, a. The defense plan includes security, distri- 
bution, and missions of rifle companies and all weapons un- 
der battalion control, coordination of fire, use of the reserve 
(to include counterattack) , employment of attached tanks 
for counterattack or for reinforcing fires, ground organiza- 
tion, communication, and administration. 

b. If the defense is assumed in contact with the enemy and 
the situation does not permit a complete reconnaissance and 
coordinated plan of defense, the battalion commander indi- 
cates the general trace of the main line of resistance and 
may initially attach heavy machine guns and attached tanks 
to rifle companies for their immediate protection. As soon 
as practicable these initial measures are readjusted into a 
coordinated defense of the battalion area. 

The main line of resistance is located to protect vital terrain ; 
it may be located on either a forward or reverse slope. It is 
traced to provide as many as practicable of the following 
advantages : 

(1) Retention of essential observation to the front and 
flanks, particularly for artillery. 

(2) Concealment of defensive works from air and ground 

(3) Denial of close hostile observation into the position. 

(4) Good fields for grazing and flanking fire of automatic 

(5) Best possible use of natural obstacles, particularly 
antitank obstacles. 

(6) Terrain that facilitates counterattack. 

6. The trace of the main line of resistance will be irregular 
and contain minor salients and reentrants to facilitate the 
development of flanking fire. The formation of large salients 
and reentrants is avoided. The defense areas on the main line 
of resistance must be mutually supporting, and capable of 
all around defense. 



c. A battle position with its main line of resistance on a 
forward slope offers certain inherent advantages. From such 
a position the benefit of observation from the forward slope 
is obtained; and control of the key points affording observa- 
tion for artillery, supporting weapons, and commanders is re- 
tained. A main line of resistance on the forward slope usually 
possesses the most effective fields of fire for flat-trajectory 
weapons and positions from which to observe, to cover by 
fire, and so to maintain the integrity of the natural and 
artificial obstacles in front of the position. By extension of 
the rear limits of the company defense areas on the main line 
of resistance to the reverse slope, concealed and defiladed 
routes of communication which facilitate movement of troops 
and supplies and the efficient use of control agencies are 

d. (1) The main line of resistance is located on the reverse 
slope when the lack of cover and concealment permits enemy 
observed fire, particularly from direct fire weapons, to make 
the forward slope untenable; when better fields of fire for 
flat-trajectory weapons are available; or when necessary to 
avoid dangerous salients and reentrants. Initially, the for- 
ward slope may be used for observation, but in selecting a 
reverse slope position, the battalion commander must insure 
that essential observation from locations' other than the for- 
ward slope are available. The reverse slope may be selected 
when control of the forward slope has been lost or has not 
yet been gained, or when the forward slope is otherwise un- 
suitable for defense. Fire plans should provide for maximum 
concentration of artillery and mortar fires on the forward 
slope and crest. The main line of resistance should be covered 
by supporting fires from positions next in rear as well as 
from the flanks. Reverse slope positions are strengthened 
by automatic weapons located on or just forward of the topo- 
graphical crest so that effective fire can be brought to bear 
on attacking troops during their approach. The weapons 
so located should have enough overhead protection to insure 
their safety during a heavy volume of artillery fire. Anti- 
personnel mines and wire may be employed effectively on 
the forward slope. 



(2) In general, the combat strength of a reverse slope 
defense results from fewer casualties suffered from enemy- 
fire, losses inflicted on the enemy during his approach to 
the position, and immediate counterattack by relatively fresh 
troops before the enemy has had time to establish himself. 

line company defense areas are assigned by indicating the 
main line of resistance and designating a boundary between 
companies and a limiting point on the boundary where the 
front-line company commanders are to coordinate their de- 
fenses. (See par. 2076.) The boundary is fixed so as to as- 
sign frontages to the front-line companies in accordance 
with the defensive strength of the terrain and the amount 
of supporting fires allocated to the area, avoiding, as far as 
practicable, the division of responsibility for the defense of 
key terrain and critical avenues of approach. Company 
boundaries are extended forward for at least 500 yards and 
to the rear to the limit of the company defense areas. In 
close, broken terrain with short fields of fire, a rifle company 
can defend a width of about 500 yards. In more open terrain 
it may be assigned a frontage of 1,000 yards or more. The 
depth of the defense area assigned to a rifle company usually 
does not exceed 700 yards. 

talion commander usually places two rifle companies on the 
main line of resistance and holds one in reserve. (See fig. 10.) 

a. Organization of front-line companies. Front-line rifle 
companies distribute their rifle platoons in width and depth; 
usually two platoons are assigned defense areas on the main 
line of resistance and one platoon is placed in support. The 
rifle platoons physically occupy the important terrain fea- 
tures and cover the intervals by fire. They are located 
to be mutually supporting and capable of all-around defense; 
they afford close rifle protection for the elements of the 
weapons platoon and for other supporting weapons in the 
company area. 

b. Battalion reserve. (1) Missions. The battalion reserve 
usually consists of one rifle company. It may be assigned the 



following missions: 

(a) Extend in depth the organized resistance Of the bat- 
talion. The reserve company usually organizes a defensive 
position with three platoons abreast in order to make the 
defense of the battalion continuous in depth. (See fig. 10.) 
Platoon defense areas are located within supporting distance 
(500 yards) of the rearward limits of front-line rifle com- 
panies. These areas should be sufficiently far to the rear 
(150 yards) so that they will not be included in the dis- 
persion of fire directed at friendly units to their front. 
Platoons are located to be mutually supporting and capable 
of all-around defense. 


Figure 10. Organization and plan of close defensive fires of 
interior front-line battalion (schematic). 

NOTE. — For considerations involved in locating machine 
guns on the MLR, see paragraph 216a. The distribution of 
troops and weapons shown above is not invariable, e.g., ma- 
chine guns may be employed singly. 



(b) Protect the flanks and rear of the battalion. In order 
to be prepared to block a penetration in an adjacent defense 
area, the reserve company organizes supplementary platoon 
defense areas on each flank and toward the rear of the 
battalion defense area. These defense areas are so located 
as to prevent the widening of a penetration and the envelop- 
ment of the flanks and rear of the battalion. 

(c) Counterattack. A counterattack is launched to eject 
the enemy from the position when he has penetrated the de- 
fense area and his momentum has been slowed down or 
stopped. (See par. 2256.) 

(d) Establish combat outpost. All or part of the reserve- 
company may be detailed initially to establish a combat out- 
post. (See par. 223a.) 

(e) Assist in organization of forward areas. Working 
parties may be detailed to the forward areas to assist in 
clearing fields of fire, installing mine fields and other ob- 
stacles, constructing emplacements and intrenchments, and 
executing camouflage. 

(2) Location. After the reserve company has completed 
the organization of the assigned defense areas, it usually 
will be held mobile in a concealed and defiladed assembly 
area, if such exists, within the rear limits of the battalion 
defense area. The location of such an assembly area should 
facilitate the entry of the reserve into combat, provide suf- 
ficient defilade and dispersion for the protection of all ele- 
ments against artillery fire, and take advantage of any 
natural obstacles for protection against armored attack. If 
no such area exists, the reserve occupies the prepared po- 
sitions that extend the organized resistance of the battalion 
in depth. Similarly, it occupies these positions when the situ- 
ation indicates the likelihood of intensive bombardment by 
hostile aviation or an armored attack which threatens to 
immobilize the reserve company. 

WEAPONS, a. (1) The battalion order assigns general lo- 
cations and missions for both the heavy and light machine 
gunSt Usually one platoon of heavy machine guns and the 



light machine guns of forward rifle companies are assigned 
missions in close support of the main line of resistance. If 
additional machine guns are required for this mission the 
light machine guns of the reserve company are employed 
in preference to the remaining heavy machine guns. Addi- 
tional light machine guns, authorized by the theater of opera- 
tions commander, may also be available. Locations are as- 
signed so as to emplace the light machine guns (except those 
of the reserve company, if employed in close support of the 
main line of resistance) within the areas of their respective 
companies and to facilitate control of heavy machine guns 
by their platoon leader. These guns are assigned sectors of 
fire and final protective lines. Usually the machine guns in 
close support of the main line of resistance are sited by sec- 
tions. In broken terrain or over a wide front they may be 
sited singly. Pinal protective lines are planned to present 
as nearly as possible a continuous interlocking band of graz- 
ing fire across the front of the battalion. 

(2) The remaining heavy machine guns and the light ma- 
chine guns of the reserve company (unless employed in close 
support of the main line of resistance) are assigned rear lo- 
cations which will enable them to execute a primary mission 
of long-range fire in support of that line and supplementary 
missions for limitation of penetration, flank protection, and 
support of counterattacks. They may be located initially with 
the combat outpost and later withdrawn. (For antiaircraft 
missions for heavy machine guns, see par. 223c.) 

(3) Unless employed in close support of the main line of 
resistance the light machine guns of the reserve company 
are assigned locations from which they can be readily re- 
leased to company control in case the company is employed 
in counterattack. 

6. The 81-mm mortars may, depending on terrain, tacti- 
cal and supply considerations, be emplaced in battery by pla- 
toon, or distributed by section or squad in width and depth, 
and may be employed to fire by platoon, section or squad. 
They occupy positions in defilade within communicating dis- 
tance of observation post(s) which afford view of the target 
area(s'). They are emplaced generally in rear of the support 



platoons of the front-line companies so that minor penetra- 
tions will not force displacement. They should not be located 
in the more likely areas of hostile penetration. Supplemen- 
tary firing positions to the rear are assigned to permit con- 
tinuous fire against deep penetrations within the battalion 
area. The battalion order assigns primary and secondary tar- 
get areas for each squad, section, or platoon, depending on 
the contemplated employment of the weapons. Massing of the 
fire of the entire platoon usually calls for massing of the 
mortars themselves to facilitate control. 

c. The primary mission of the battalion antitank platoon 
is to stop hostile tanks before they reach the main line of re- 
sistance. The guns are assigned firing positions from which 
they are able to deliver effective fire in support of the main 
line of resistance. As first priority, they should be emplaced 
defiladed in locations enabling them to cover by fire the most 
likely avenues of mechanized approach and deliver fire on 
each hostile tank before it reaches the main line of resistance. 
Alternate positions must be provided. Guns will be emplaced 
within platoon defense areas if consistent with the execution 
of this mission. Positions selected should enable the guns to 
deliver mutually supporting fires so that tanks attempting 
to overrun one gun will receive flanking fire from another 
gun. Close-in protection of antitank guns must be provided 
by other troops. Guns intended solely for antimechanized 
use are kept concealed initially and not fired until hostile 
tanks appear within effective range; their value may be 
neutralized if their location is prematurely disclosed. The 
guns of the antitank company, attached tanks and tank de- 
stroyers reinforce the fires of the battalion guns, add depth 
to the antitank defense of the forward battalions and pro- 
tect their flanks. (See FM 7-35.) Tank-hunting teams should 
be utilized to seek out and destroy enemy tanks at every 

PANY, a. (1) The amount of artillery supporting the de- 
fending force is the minimum necessary for the successful 
execution of the defensive mission. In the case of a normal 
combat team operating separately from the division, one or 



more battalions of artillery are ordinarily made available. 
Normally one battalion of light artillery is allotted to sup- 
port of an infantry regiment. This battalion can fire only 
three normal barrages for the close defense of the main 
line of resistance and the regimental commander allots these 
barrages to the battalions occupying that line. The respon- 
sibility .for locating the allotted normal barrage (s) on the 
ground is delegated to the infantry battalion commander. 

(2) Other artillery fires which should be requested from 
the supporting artillery include — 

(a) Fires covering avenues of approach, probable hostile 
assembly areas, and observation posts. 

(b) Fires in support of the combat outpost. 

(c) Fires within the battle position to repel or stop a 
hostile penetration and in support of counterattacks. 

(d) Emergency barrages to supplement the normal bar- 
rages or other protective fires. 

(3) When the regiment is operating as a part of the di- 
vision, the supporting fires of one or more additional artillery 
battalions of the division may be available. At times these 
may be augmented by the fires of non-divisional artillery. 

(4) With the assistance of the artillery liaison officer 
the battalion commander plans all supporting artillery fires. 
He coordinates them with the fires of his own weapons. 

6. One platoon of the cannon company is usually placed in 
close support of each front-line battalion, while the remainder 
of the company is placed in support of the regiment as a 
whole. Whenever the terrain permits, howitzers are initially 
emplaced in concealed firing positions prepared to deliver 
indirect fires either by platoon or section. Cannon platoon (s) 
are used for long-range fires against observed targets, for 
fires in close support of the main line of resistance, and in 
support of counterattacks. 

c. Chemical mortar and rocket units attached or supporting 
the battalion from positions in rear of the prepared positions 
of the battalion reserve company are assigned appropriate 
target areas. 



218. TANKS, a. In the sustained defense, tanks can be used 
with the infantry battalion in close support of the main line 
of resistance and for counterattack, the support of the latter 
being their primary mission. The number of tanks employed 
depends upon the terrain, the extent of the front held, the 
enemy situation, and the availability of tank units. Tanks 
should ordinarily be employed as a unit, if the terrain is 
suitable. If the terrain is unsuitable for the employment in 
mass of an entire tank battalion, tank companies or platoons 
may be attached to infantry battalions or companies. The 
wider the frontage assigned to a front-line infantry unit in 
defense, the greater the need for a strong and mobile reserve. 
Terrain containing many natural tank obstacles may make 
it necessary to use tanks in small rather than large groups. 
The infantry battalion commander usually attaches avail- 
able tanks to the reserve for counterattack. Exceptionally 
they may be attached to front-line companies' for direct fire 
missions. Tanks may be assigned a secondary mission of 
reinforcing the fires of the field artillery. For tanks so used, 
ammunition must be provided and its replacement foreseen, 
so that the tanks when committed for counterattack will 
still have their organic loads of ammunition. 

6. The tanks supporting the main line of resistance by 
direct fire initially occupy defiladed positions, from which 
they may readily move to hull defilade firing positions. If 
time is available, firing positions are prepared. These firing 
positions should be located on the flanks of the platoon 
areas, outside of the protective wire. (See fig. 11.) Each 
tank must have one or more alternate or supplementary firing 
positions. Defiladed routes to the rear for withdrawal are 
essential. If the enemy reaches assaulting distance the tanks 
can execute local counterattacks in front of the defending 

c. The counterattack may be launched to eject an enemy 
who has succeeded in penetrating the position or to destroy 
the enemy while he is forming for an attack. (See fig. 12.) 
The principal advantage to the defender of this latter type 
of employment of tanks is to gain time by disorganizing and 
disrupting the enemy before he can coordinate and launch 



Figure 11. Direct fire position for tanks. 

his attack. Tanks will make this type of counterattack alone 
and receive supporting fires from the infantry and artillery. 
[For the use of tanks in counterattack with infantry, see 
par. 2256(2).] 

219. FIRE PLAN. a. The battalion fire plan seeks to take 
the enemy under fire from the time he enters the zone 
of surveillance of the combat outpost, hold him under an in- 



Figure 12. Counterattack by tanks to destroy enemy in 
assembly area. 

creasingly heavy volume of fire as he approaches the battle 
position, stop his assault by a dense band of closely coordi- 
nated fires immediately in front of the battle position, limit 
his penetration of the position by prepared interior fires, 
and eject him from the position by a combination of pre- 
arranged fire and counterattack. (See fig. 10.) The fire plan 



provides for the opening of fires, signals for close defensive 
fires, rates of fire, mutual support of adjacent units, and 
fires to be delivered under conditions of reduced visibility. 

6. Long-range interdiction fires by the supporting artillery 
are normally a function of regimental planning, as such fires 
must be coordinated with the location and withdrawal of the 
general outpost. Long-range artillery, cannon, and mortar 
fires to be observed from the combat outpost line are included 
in the battalion plan. Such fires, and fires in close support 
of the combat outpost are accomplished by locating observers 
for these weapons with the combat outpost. 

c. The withdrawal of the combat outpost is supported by 
prearranged artillery, tank, cannon, long-range machine- 
gun, and mortar fires. Machine-gun fire support may be de- 
livered by rear guns or, if these guns are attached to the 
combat outpost, by guns assigned missions in close support of 
the main line of resistance and sited in temporary positions 
sufficiently in front of or in rear of the main line of resis- 
tance so that their fires will not disclose the location of that 
line. Upon withdrawal of the combat outpost, fires against 
targets of opportunity are usually opened upon the individual 
initiative of weapon commanders or observers. The heavy 
weapons commander, the artillery liaison officer, the tank 
commander, and the representative of the cannon company 
usually are with the battalion commander at the battalion 
observation post. Through these individuals, the battalion 
commander is able to concentrate on desired areas. 

d. Fires from the main line of resistance ordinarily are 
withheld until the enemy has approached within 500 yards 
of the position (see PM 7-40), and the hostile attack is defi- 
nitely committed. Where the foreground of the position is 
divided by cross compartments, with intervening areas of 
dead space which afford defilade to the attacker, fires from 
the main line of resistance may be withheld until the hostile 
attack has arrived at the nearest ridge line. 

e. (1) Close defensive fires are planned to place a dense 
curtain of fire across the battalion front just in front of the 
main line of resistance. These fires' are a combination of ma- 



chine-gun final protective fires, fires on primary target areas 
of 81-mm and 60-mm mortars, and the barrages of the sup- 
porting artillery. Elements of the cannon company will be 
prepared to deliver concentrations supplementing the pre- 
arranged close defensive fires of other supporting weapons; 
usually they will not execute barrage missions. 

(2) The battalion fire plan provides for the release of close 
defensive fires across the entire front or in front of any 
threatened locality. Each front-line rifle company is au- 
thorized to call for barrage fire. Close defensive fires which 
support adjacent units may also be opened upon call from 
either adjacent battalion. The battalion order includes all 
necessary provisions for calling for these fires by at least 
one nonvisual means of communication, and also by ground 
signals prescribed by the signal operation instructions of 
the division. It also states the localities from which such 
signals will be fired, those weapons which will open fire on 
any given signal, the rates of fire for use under conditions of 
reduced visibility, and the duration of fires. Only those fires 
should be opened which protect the area calling for them. 

(3) Rates of fire usually prescribed are heavy machine 
guns, 250 rounds per minute for 2 minutes, and 125 rounds 
per minute thereafter; light machine guns, 150 rounds per 
minute for 2 minutes, and 75 rounds per minute thereafter; 
81-mm mortar, 9 rounds per minute for 2 minutes, and 6 
rounds per minute thereafter. Bates of fire for the supporting 
artillery and tanks will usually be prescribed by higher head- 

(4) Fire may b<> continued until the locality requesting 
such fire requests firing to cease, or until the time length for 
each fire prescribed in the battalion order has elapsed. In 
prescribing time lengths of fire, ammunition supply must be 
considered. Each fire usually should not exceed 10 minutes. 
If additional fire is needed, the call may be repeated. Visual 
signals for cessation of fire should be used sparingly and 
time length of fire should be varied in order that a routine 
of fire will not be disclosed to the enemy. 

(5) While fires of the 60-mm mortars of front-line rifle 
companies are included in the close defensive fires of the 



battalion, the battalion commander does not prescribe their 
locations, target areas, or rates of fire. These matters are 
prescribed by their respective company commanders. 

(6) The 60-mm mortars of the reserve company may be 
emplaced to deliver close defensive fires; when these fires 
cannot be observed, such employment is practicable only 
where prior registration is possible. They may be emplaced 
so as to utilize firing data obtained from the observation and 
communication system of the 81-mm mortars. When so em- 
ployed, these mortars should be so located as to permit their 
release to the reserve company upon its commitment to ac- 

/. Fires within the position to limit penetrations and sup- 
port counterattacks by the reserve company are planned for 
all supporting weapons. 

g. The battalion commander prescribes the conditions un- 
der which the battalion antitank guns open fire. His defense 
order should assign not more than one gun to fire on hostile 
vehicles or tanks apparently engaged in reconnaissance. Fire 
of other antitank guns should be withheld until the hostile 
tank attack has been definitely committed. Terrain features 
usually are designated which armored vehicles are to cross 
(or pass) before antitank guns open fire; different terrain 
features may be prescribed for different types of armored 
vehicles. These designated features should place the hostile 
vehicles in such position that there is a reasonable expecta- 
tion of obtaining effective hits ; 57-mm guns should not open 
fire at ranges greater than 800 yards. Attached tanks and 
tank destroyers may be employed to augment the antitank 
fires of the 'battalion. 

220. ORGANIZATION OF GROUND. Immediately upon 
the occupation of a position, steps are taken to strengthen 
the defenses by clearing fields of fire and by the construction 
of individual shelters, emplacements for weapons and at- 
tached tanks, and obstacles. Measures for concealment and 
camouflage are carried out concurrently with construction 
tasks. The sequence in which these various tasks are to be ac- 
complished is expressed in orders in the form of priorities. 



a. Planning and supervision. (1) The battalion command- 
er's plan for the organization of ground should prepare the 
battalion for combat in the shortest practicable time. Tools 
and materials are allotted in accordance with the amount and 
urgency of the work to be done by the various subordinate 
units. The battalion commander and his staff supervise the 
work to insure that the terrain is used to the best advantage, 
that concealment and camouflage measures are carried out, 
and that the work on the position progresses without loss of 
time or wasted effort. 

(2) If the defense area must be occupied under hostile 
artillery fire or air attack, concealed positions may initially 
be selected and occupied, and organization of exposed po- 
sitions either postponed until dark or accomplished piecemeal 
by the infiltration of small groups. 

6. Priorities. (1) The normal order of priority of work 
is indicated below; depending on the situation some or all 
of these tasks are carried out concurrently. 

(a) Clearing fields of fire. 

(b) Laying of antitank mine fields and antipersonnel 

(c) Providing adequate signal communication and ob- 
servation systems. 

(d) Preparing emplacements for weapons and individual 

(e) Preparing obstacles (other than mine fields). 

(f) Preparing routes for movement of reserves, attached 
tanks, and for supply and evacuation. 

(2) Priorities for front-line companies. So far as possible, 
front-line companies are assigned no initial tasks other than 
the organization of their defense areas. Clearing of the neces- 
sary fields of fire, emplacement of their crew-served weap- 
ons, and digging of individual shelters receive first priority. 

(3) Priorities for heavy weapons company. First consider- 
ations for the heavy weapons company include clearing fields 
of fire, emplacement of weapons, establishment of observa- 
tion and communication, and digging individual shelters. 



(4) Priorities for the reserve company. Elements of the 
reserve company not assigned to security missions may 
initially be ordered to assist the front-line companies in the 
organization of the ground. Such tasks may include laying 
of mine fields, preparation of obstacles, and assisting in the 
clearing of fields of fire. When the reserve company is to 
prepare flank positions in the battalion reserve area, the 
priority of the organization of such positions is stated in 
orders. Work on these positions may be postponed until the 
organization of the forward areas is well under way. 

c. Tasks for the battalion headquarters company. The in- 
stallation of the signal communication and observation sys- 
tems, and preparation of routes within the position are nor- 
mal tasks for the elements of the battalion headquarters 

d. Missions for engineers. Engineers will usually be as- 
signed special construction missions by higher headquarters. 
When made available to the battalion, they can best be em- 
ployed to construct obstacles and other works requiring 
special equipment and specialized training, and to execute 

e. Construction and location of works. For detailed infor- 
mation on types and methods of construction of various field 
works, see FMs 5-15, 7-10, 7-15, and 7-35. All works are 
located to take advantage of natural concealment so far as 
their tactical use permits. Where concealment cannot be ob- 
tained they are camouflaged. (See FM 5-20.) 

/. Obstacles. (1) Tactical obstacles are located to stop or 
divert the hostile approach. Barbed wire entanglements, anti- 
personnel mines, antitank mines, and other obstacles are 
placed, or natural obstacles are improved, to break up the 
enemy's attack formations and hold him in areas which 
are covered by intense defensive fires, particularly those of 
automatic weapons and antitank guns. They are so placed 
that their removal or neutralization by the enemy can be 
prevented by rifle or machine-gun fire and where they will be 
inconspicuous both from the ground and from the air. (See 
FMs 5-15 and 5-30.) 



(2) Protective obstacles, such as barbed wire, trip flares, 
booby traps, and antipersonnel mines, are so located as to pre- 
vent the enemy from delivering a surprise assault from posi- 
tions close to defense areas. Such obstacles should be near 
enough to defense areas for adequate surveillance by day and 
night and far enough away to prevent the enemy from lying 
beyond the obstacles and effectively employing hand grenades. 
Additional obstacles are installed close to defense areas when 

g. Individual shelter and emplacements. Personnel dig one 
or two-man foxholes. Suitable undercutting of foxholes to 
create a niche in the bottom part will add protection from 
artillery time fire. Primary, alternate, and supplementary 
emplacements are dug for the all-around protection of each 
defense area. Whenever possible, natural cover, drainage 
lines, ditches, and other ' defilade are used for movement 
within the defense areas. When such defilade is insufficient 
to permit covered movement of machine guns and 60-mm 
mortars from their primary to their alternate or supplemen- 
tary emplacements, or movement of other weapons and per- 
sonnel in the defense area, shallow connecting trenches are 
dug as needed, provided disclosure of the position will not 
result, or when the value of such trenches in control, com- 
munication, and supply outweigh the possible sacrifice of 
concealment. They should be dug, where practicable, in areas 
(under the limbs and foliage of trees and bushes) concealed 
from air observation; if this is impracticable they should be 
extended at least 100 yards beyond each emplacement. 

h. Dummy works. When time permits their construction, 
dummy works may be used to mislead the enemy and disperse 
his fire. To be effective, they must closely resemble genuine 
works; dummy works easily recognizable as such give the 
enemy valuable negative information. They must appear 
realistic. They should be located at least 150 yards from 
any true position so that fire directed at them will not include 
occupied localities. Further to deceive the enemy, dummy 
works may be manned with small groups during preliminary 
phases when the enemy is seeking to locate defensive works 
by active air reconnaissance and ground patrolling. 



221. ORDERS, a. If practicable, the battalion commander 
issues a complete oral defense order to his subordinate com- 
manders and staff. However, if such procedure will delay the 
occupation and organization of the position, fragmentary 
orders are issued. The commander of the heavy weapons 
company should have sufficient information to place his com- 
pany in position by the time he has completed the reconnais- 
sance with the battalion commander. Other commanders are 
given sufficient details of the battalion plan to place their 
troops on the position and commence its organization. Com- 
plete details of the defense plan are transmitted later. 

6. The following outline indicates the matter, when appro- 
priate, to be included in the battalion order: 


1. a. Information of the enemy. 

6. Information of friendly troops. 

(1) Situation and mission (s) of the regiment and 
adjacent units. 

(2) Supporting fires of artillery, cannon, antitank, 
tank, tank destroyer, chemical mortar, rocket, 
and aviation units. 

(3) Covering forces and other security elements in 

2. Battalion general plan of defense. 
a. Boundaries of defense area. 

6. General course of main line of resistance. 

c. Limiting points. 

d. Distribution of rifle companies. 

e. Formation of rifle companies. 

3. Instructions to subordinate units. 

a. Specific instructions to each rifle company on main 
line of resistance. 

(1) Boundaries and limiting points. 

(2) Security mission (s). 

(3) Conditions or restrictions on opening fire. 

6. Specific instructions to the heavy weapons company. 



(1) Missions and distribution of machine guns, both 
heavy and light. 

(2) General firing positions and missions for 81-mm 
mortars; primary target areas and areas for the 
massing of fires. 

(3) Conditions or restrictions on opening fire. 

c. Instructions to the antitank platoon and attached tank 

(1) Firing position area(s). 

(2) Sector of responsibility and principal direction 
of fire. 

(3) Conditions for and restrictions on opening fire. 

(4) Special instructions concerning coordination with 
other antitank units. 

(5) Location of mine fields and obstacles. 

d. Instructions to the reserve (counterattacking force). 

(1) Composition. 

(2) Mission(s). 

(3) Location. 

(4) Priority for planning counterattacks against as- 
sumed penetrations. 

e. Instructions to attached tank units. 

(1) Mission(s) (direct fire support or reinforcing 
artillery fires, and supporting counterattacking 
force) . 

(2) Position (s) to be occupied. 

(3) Route(s) to attack position(s). 

(4) Conditions or restrictions on opening fire. 

(5) Location of mine fields and obstacles. 

/. Instructions to attached chemical mortar and rocket 

(1) General firing positions and missions. 

(2) Primary target areas and areas for the massing 
of fires. 

x. Instructions applicable to more than one unit of the 

(1) Alterations or additions to standing operating 



(2) Organization of the ground, to include priorities. 

(3) Composition, location, and mission of the combat 

4. Administrative instructions and information. 

a. Ammunition supply. 

(1) Location of battalion ammunition supply point. 

(2) Arrangements for distribution of ammunition, 
including amount to be placed on position. 

(3) Alterations or additions to standing operating 
procedure for ammunition supply. 

b. Instructions relative to company transport and bat- 
talion train. 

c. Location of battalion aid station. 

d. Instructions for feeding. 

5. Communication instructions. 

a. Index to signal operations instructions in effect. 

b. Restrictions, if any, on use of radio. 

c. Special pyrotechnic signals. 

d. Location and times of opening of battalion and com- 
pany command posts. 

e. Alternate locations of battalion command post. 

222. CONTROL OF MOTOR VEHICLES. Upon occupation 
of the position, company and ammunition train vehicles are 
unloaded in covered and concealed locations as close as prac- 
ticable to localities where their loads are to be used. (See 
FMs 7-10, 7-15, 7-35, and 7-37.) As soon as the position has 
been supplied, all vehicles except prime movers of antitank 
guns, and those necessary for command and communication 
are withdrawn to the rear and held under battalion or regi- 
mental control, usually in the vicinity of the regimental train 
bivouac. Replenishment of ammunition on the positions will 
usually be effected under cover of darkness. Movement of 
vehicles at night is made without lights. Supply vehicles are 
returned to the rear area prior to daylight. 

223. SECURITY. Covering forces of higher units usually 
provide distant security for front-line battalions during the 



initial phases of a defensive operation. These covering forces 
may include armored and motorized forces under army, corps, 
or division control, and a general outpost under division or 
regimental control. (See FMs 7-40 and 100-5.) 

a. Combat outpost. (1) When the general outpost is at a 
considerable distance from the main line of resistance or 
when the enemy situation prevents the establishment of a 
general outpost, a battalion occupying an area on the main 
line of resistance provides for its local security by establish- 
ing a combat outpost. It is established as soon as the battalion 
starts to occupy the battle position. 

(2) The regimental commander will usually designate the 
approximate location of the combat outpost line between 800 
and 2,000 yards forward of the main line of resistance. It is 
so located as to provide observation over the terrain to the 
front, deny enemy observation of the battle position, and 
prevent observed hostile fire against the battle position. 

(3) The combat outpost for front-line battalions will vary 
in size from a rifle platoon to a rifle company, reinforced 
with machine guns, mortars, antitank guns, tanks, and can- 
non company weapons. It will usually be disposed in one 
echelon, as a series of outguards varying in strength from a 
half-squad to a rifle platoon. These outguards organize de- 
fense areas on positions affording observation and long fields 
of fire, and provide close rifle protection to supporting weap- 
ons. The combat outpost for the regimental sector may be fur- 
nished by the reserve battalion, or front line battalions may 
be ordered to establish the combat outpost. If the combat 
outpost line is close to the battle positions, the battalion 
commander may order front-line companies to outpost their 
respective fronts. As long as the general outpost is in posi- 
tion, the combat outpost consists chiefly of observers and 
small patrols who keep the terrain to the front of the position 
under observation. When there are no friendly troops to the 
front, the combat outpost maintains contact with the enemy 
by patrolling, disorganizes and delays the hostile advance 
by opening fire at long range, and seeks to deceive the enemy 
as to where the principal resistance will be encountered; 
it is essential that contact be maintained between the outposts 



and the main line of resistance. When the combat outpost is 
close to the battle position, withdrawal will be made directly 
to a designated assembly area within the battle position. 
However, if the mission requires that the enemy be delayed 
for a considerable period, for example, in order that the or- 
ganization of the battle position may be completed, the with- 
drawal may be made on successive delaying positions. In 
this case a support echelon is employed. Continuous resist- 
ance is thus presented to the enemy's advance. If a strong 
combat outpost is required, and the position affords good 
fields of fire and covered routes of withdrawal, battalion 
supporting weapons and elements of the cannon company may 
be attached. (For details of their employment, see FMs 7-15, 
7-35, and 7-37.) Artillery support will usually be obtained 
from artillery within the battle position through the placing 
of artillery forward observers with the combat outpost. When 
battle is interrupted by nightfall, combat outposts, if still 
in position, should be increased in strength to push patrols 
forward in close contact with the enemy; if they are not in 
position, they should be posted by dark. 

(4) Communication may be maintained with and within 
the combat outpost by wire, radio, messenger, and visual 
signaling, and by patrols at night. 

(5) Wide latitude is given to the combat outpost com- 
mander in conduct of the action. The combat outpost with- 
draws either upon the initiative of its commander or upon 
order of the battalion commander, using predetermined routes 
toward either flank so as not to interfere with fires of units 
on the battle position. Subordinate units and adjacent bat- 
talions are immediately notified of the initiation of the with- 
drawal, and front-line units are notified when all elements 
of the combat outpost have cleared the main line of re- 

(6) Tanks constitute a strong mobile striking force which 
can be used to aid the infantry in accomplishing an outpost 
mission. Tanks may be attached to a combat outpost to assist 
by direct and indirect fire, by a quick direct thrust into the 
advancing enemy, or by a surprise flank attack across the 
route by which such a hostile force is advancing. Such attacks 



must be strongly supported by machine guns, mortars, and 

(7) When the main line of resistance of the battle position 
is on the reverse slope, security detachments strong in auto- 
matic weapons, and with rifle protection, occupy positions 
forward of the topographical crest covered by wire and 
mines, to force the attacker to fight his way up the forward 
slope. At night the bulk of the force occupies the forward 

b. Flank security. (1) Information of the situation in 
adjacent sectors is essential. This information is obtained 
by observers who keep the flanks under constant observation, 
and from liaison personnel. Lateral wire communication 
(from left to right) is established between battalions. (See 
FM 7-40.) 

(2) Exposed flanks may be secured by patrols and by de- 
tached posts located to block the principal approaches. Use 
is made of demolitions and obstacles in accordance with direc- 
tives from higher headquarters. 

c. Antiaircraft security. (1) Security against aircraft is 
obtained by the protective measures of warning, concealment, 
dispersion, intrenchment, and fire. 

(2) The warning system is fully organized in a defensive 
situation and is part of any aircraft warning service organ- 
ized by higher headquarters; the battalion S-2 is responsible 
for the establishment and supervision of the warning sys- 
tem of the battalion. Air observers are placed within the 
battalion area and in the area of the combat outpost to give 
warning to all troops within hearing by sounding a pre- 
arranged signal by whistle, bugle, or other device. (See par. 
70.) Warnings received by radio or wire are immediately 
relayed to the troops and higher headquarters. The air 
warning system includes an "all clear" signal which is 
sounded promptly when airplanes have passed so that the 
troops may resume their normal activities. 

(3) Measures taken for concealment aim to defeat both 
visual reconnaissance and air photography. Foxholes, em- 
placements, and obstacles are carefully sited to utilize con- 



cealment afforded by nearby banks, buildings, brush, hedges, 
ditches, and cuts. Earth spoil from foxholes and other 
ground works must be camouflaged or removed concurrently 
with digging to avoid disclosure of the position to air ob- 
servers or by aerial photographs. Wheel and foot tracks 
must be concealed, obliterated, or extended beyond the in- 
stallation to which they lead. White articles such as maps 
and clothing carelessly exposed to air observation may dis- 
close the location of a unit otherwise concealed. At night, 
blackout affords effective concealment. 

(4) For a description of antiaircraft defense, see para- 
graph 73. Weapons on or near the main line of resistance 
will not fire at hostile aircraft unless it is obvious that the 
location of that line is known to the enemy. Such weapons 
may be located initially in supplementary positions to permit 
them to fire antiaircraft missions. (See FMs 7-10 and 7-15.) 
Weapons of reserve units conform to this doctrine. At night, 
it is normal for supporting antiaircraft units only to fire at 
hostile aircraft to avoid outlining the entire position. 

(5) When both air and ground targets exist, rifles, auto- 
matic rifles, and heavy machine guns are employed against 
whichever target appears to offer the greatest threat to the 
accomplishment of the mission of the unit to which the 
weapon belongs. 

d. Antimechanized defense. (1) Measures for antimecha- 
nized defense are developed concurrently with other defensive 
measures. They consist of a coordinated combination of 
obstacles, both natural and artificial, and the fire of anti- 
tank guns, antitank grenade launchers, and rocket launchers. 
Natural obstacles are strengthened. Artificial obstacles are 
constructed; these consist primarily of such antitank traps 
or ditches as can quickly be dug. Antitank mine fields are 
laid to deny an area or to canalize the hostile tank approach 
into areas more effectively covered by antitank gun fire. 
However, some antitank weapons should be sited to cover the 
mine fields and obstacles in order to destroy hostile armored 
vehicles disabled or slowed down by them. 

(2) All combat troops should be proficient in the con- 



struction of antimechanized obstacles and in the technique 
of planting mines. Minefields should be covered by fire to 
prevent enemy attempts to remove the mines. Any antitank 
mine fields laid by the battalion are reported to the regi- 
mental commander; the regimental antitank mine platoon 
then records their location and marks the field. Dummy mine 
fields are marked similarly. The battalion maintains a 
traffic guard over mine fields laid in the battalion area in 
order to protect friendly troops against accidental detonation. 

(3) During a hostile tank attack, riflemen and machine 
guns will fire at vision slits of tanks and at exposed per- 
sonnel, particularly accompanying infantry. Personnel armed 
with antitank rocket and grenade launchers employ them 
within effective range. Fire is continued until defendors are 
forced to take cover to avoid the crushing action of tanks. 
They return to their firing positions as soon as the tanks 
have passed, and continue their fire on these vehicles or on 
other approaching tanks or accompanying infantry. 

224. NIGHT DISPOSITIONS, a. The defender must be 
prepared at night or under other conditions of reduced 
visibility to repel a hostile attack or prevent small groups 
from infiltrating into the position. Consideration should be 
given to moving machine guns and mortars whose positions 
have been disclosed by daylight firing to alternate or supple- 
mentary night positions where this can be done without dis- 
rupting the system of close defensive fires. Attached tanks 
and tank destroyers may be moved at night into prepared 
enclosures inside the protective wire of the infantry units 
nearest to the tank emplacements, or they may be moved 
to rear areas. 

b. (1) Defense at night depends upon prearranged fires, 
fires with artificial illumination, and hand-to-hand combat. 
Early information of hostile movement is essential. Listen- 
ing posts are established to cover trails or other avenues 
of approach to the defense area from all directions. Patrols, 
moving stealthily, cover the front and the intervals between 
units. Where necessary, readjustments are made in the for- 
ward areas to fill gaps that would be covered by fire during 



daylight. Elements of support platoons may be used to fill 
such gaps, or front-line platoons may be extended to the 
flanks. If practicable, supplementary positions are dug and 
camouflaged. Elements of the battalion reserve may be placed 
to protect an exposed flank. When the main line of resistance 
is located on the reverse Slope in order to escape the annihilat- 
ing effect of enemy fire, the bulk of the force should occupy 
forward slope positions at night. 

(2) An attacking force that succeeds in gaining a foot- 
hold within the position during the night can best be ejected 
by a counterattack launched by the reserve during the half- 
light of early dawn before the hostile force has had an op- 
portunity to observe its areas and surroundings and plan 
its defense. Patrols locate the hostile position during the 
night. As soon as it is sufficiently light to see, patrols search 
possible hideouts to mop up hostile groups which may have 
been overlooked during the counterattack. 

c. Fog and smoke create conditions similar to night. The 
battalion commander decides to what extent night disposi- 
tions will be adopted. 

225. CONDUCT OF THE DEFENSE, o. General. (1) The 
integrity of the battalion defense area is maintained by a 
combination of fire, hand-to-hand combat, and counterattack. 
Fires are released in accordance with the battalion fire plan. 
(See par. 219.) The attacker is held under an increasing 
volume of fire as he approaches the position. As he closes with 
the position, machine guns are switched to their final pro- 
tective lines; close defensive artillery and primary mortar 
fires are laid down on call from front-line company or by 
battalion commanders through observers or by prearranged 
signal. The hostile assault is met by rifle fire and the fire 
of supporting weapons, grenades, the bayonet, and other 
forms of hand-to-hand combat. 

(2) The success of the defense depends upon the holding 
of its assigned area by each unit down to and including the 
rifle squad. Each unit entrusted with the defense of a tacti- 
cal locality must defend it to the last man, unless otherwise 
ordered by higher authority. Local commanders take the 



necessary steps to maintain their positions, rectifying gaps 
in their dispositions or fires by the use of their supports. 
Troops must be impressed with the fact that hostile groups 
will work to their rear; that consequently they must be pre- 
pared to fight in any direction; and that successful holding of 
their positions forms the basis for successful counterattacks 
by supports and reserves to their rear. (See FM 100-6.) 

(3) If the enemy succeeds in making a penetration and is 
still advancing so as to threaten vital terrain of the battalion, 
and fire alone has failed to eject him, the defender, by using 
the rear machine guns and fire of adjacent units, slows or 
stops the hostile advance. The attached tanks, tank destroy- 
ers, assault guns, chemical mortars, and the 81-mm mortars 
of the reserve battalion may be used to aid in this mission. 
(See fig. 13.) 

Figure IS. Fire from supporting weapons limits enemy 



b. Counterattack. (1) Infantry action, (a) Should the 
enemy succeed in penetrating the battalion defense area, 
the battalion commander first seeks through fire to cause 
the immediate destruction or withdrawal of the hostile force. 
If fire alone is not successful, the battalion commander must 
decide whether to counterattack, to have the reserve hold its 
prepared positions to block the penetration, or to order a 
combination of those actions. The mission of the counter- 
attack is to reestablish the main line of resistance, and it is 
usually directed against the shoulder of the enemy penetra- 
tion. Unless adequately supported by armor, a counterattack 
is withheld so long as enemy armored elements dominate the 
area in which the counterattack is to be made. 

(b) The battalion reserve does not counterattack against 
an objective outside the battalion defense area except on 
regimental order. However, the route to the location from 
which the counterattack is to be made may cross into an 
adjacent battalion area if such maneuver has been coordinated 
with the commander of that area. When the enemy is ejected 
from the battalion defense area, he is not pursued beyond 
close supporting distance of the main line of resistance, but 
is engaged thereafter by fire alone. The counterattack is 
supported by all available supporting weapons. The battalion 
order lists the possible penetrations against which counter- 
attacks are to be planned, and states the priority in which the 
plans will be prepared. The reserve company commander 
prepares the details of the plans and submits them to the 
battalion commander for his approval and for the coordina- 
tion of supporting fires. 

(c) When the reserve counterattacks, a new reserve is 
constituted from whatever troops are available. The regimen- 
tal commander is notified immediately when the decision to 
commit the reserve has been made. 

(2) Infantry and tanks, (a) The primary mission of 
tanks in the defense is the delivering of the counterattack 
to eject the enemy from the battle position. This counter- 
attack utilizes the chief characteristics of tank action, name- 
ly, high mobility, armor-protected fire power, and shock 
action. Conditions favorable for the combined action of the 

*io 8 



infantry-tank team are frequently present in the counter- 
attack. [See (1) above.] If a penetration is made by hostile 
tanks alone, the infantry commander must rely on his em- 
placed organic antitank weapons and tank destroyers, while 
other tank destroyers move to previously reconnoitered posi- 
tions to engage the hostile tanks. (See FM 18-5.) If tank 
destroyers are not present, tanks may be employed from 
defiladed positions for direct fire on the attacking tanks. 
The infantry battalion commander consults with the tank 
commander in preparing a coordinated fire plan, which is 
rehearsed with troops, time permitting, by the infantry re- 
serve. Artillery and tank representatives, including the com- 
manders of individual tanks, should be present at the re- 

(b) While the infantry battalion reserve and the tanks are 
moving up to the line of departure, prearranged fires are 
delivered into the penetration by all available weapons. (See 
fig. 14.) The tanks and the infantry battalion reserve will 
move forward from assembly areas to the attack position and 
line of departure along previously selected routes. Conceal- 
ment to effect surprise is essential in selecting these routes. 
(See fig. 15.) The tanks should not pass through the or- 
ganized defense areas of the defending infantry, but through 
the gaps between them. The attack position of the tanks and 
the line of departure for the infantry battalion reserve 
should be close together. The counterattack should be launched 
against the shoulder of the penetration. It should be launched 
quickly to strike before the hostile penetrating force has 
time to reorganize. Plans must provide for the lifting and 
shifting of fires. As the counterattacking force leaves the 
line of departure, a barrier of fire must be placed across 
the base of the penetration to neutralize any hostile fire 
from that area and to prevent reinforcement. Smoke may be 
used to deny observation to the enemy during, the counter- 
attack. As the tanks move into the hostile area, the artillery 
uses time fire to neutralize enemy antitank weapons. Tanks 
are assigned definite objectives, which they capture by fire 
and maneuver. They must neutralize hostile small-arms fire. 
Close coordination between the infantry and tanks is essen- 



tial; communication between the two must be established 
and maintained. If light tanks are available, they may be 
used to protect the flank of the counterattack toward the 
enemy or to follow the infantry and aid in the mopping-up 
of isolated enemy groups. The tanks should remain in the 
vicinity of the restored main line of resistance until the 
machine guns and antitank guns from rear areas can replace 
those guns which have been lost by forward elements. The 
tanks or tank destroyers from hull-defilade positions must 
defend the infantry from an enemy tank attack during this 
phase. When the infantry has reoccupied the penetrated area, 
the tanks withdraw to their rallying point behind the friendly 
front line and thence to their assembly position. 

Figure 14. Prearranged fires into penetration. 



Figure 15. Counterattack plan of maneuver. 

e. Penetrations in adjacent areas. Penetrations in adja- 
cent areas are opposed by committing all or part of the 
reserve to flank positions in order to prevent the widening 
of the penetration and the envelopment of the battalion flank. 

d. Closing gaps. Gaps created in the main line of resistance 
by armored attack must be closed promptly by the movement 
of infantry supports or reserves as soon as the armor leaves 
the area. Tanks should not be withdrawn until notified by 
the infantry commander that the position has been consoli- 

e. Defense against infiltration. Constant vigilance is main- 
tained against small groups infiltrating into the battalion 
area. During daylight, observers are posted within each sub- 
ordinate defense area to keep the ground between defense 



areas under constant surveillance; areas that cannot be ob- 
served are searched by roving combat patrols. (For disposi- 
tions at night or under conditions of reduced visibility, see 
par. 224.) 

226. RELIEF, a. The relief of a battalion on the battle 
position is preceded by a detailed reconnaissance of the area 
by officers of the relieving unit. If time permits, all com- 
manders down to and including platoon leaders visit the 
position prior to execution of the relief. Company officers 
familiarize themselves not only with the disposition of the 
defending force, but also with the known hostile dispositions 
on their part of the front. Arrangements are completed for 
the transfer of supplies and special equipment to be left 
on the position by the battalion being relieved. Usually the 
battalion being relieved takes with it only the ammunition 
prescribed in the relief order, together with all individual 
and organizational equipment. Special equipment and ammu- 
nition stores are left. The commander of each relieving unit 
assures himself that the arms, clothing, and equipment of his 
men are in proper condition and that each man has the pre- 
scribed ammunition, reserve rations, and equipment. Suffi- 
cient guides are detailed from the relieved unit to meet each 
platoon of the relieving battalion and conduct it to its 

6. The commander of the relieving battalion should acquaint 
himself with the artillery fire plan for the support of the 
battalion being relieved and, in planning his own defense, 
should request that any necessary changes be made. 

c. Secrecy in planning and conducting the relief is essen- 
tial. The relief should be accomplished during darkness and 
in time to permit the relieved unit to be beyond artillery range 
prior to daylight. Incoming leaders inspect the position of 
each subordinate element as soon as occupation is completed 
to insure their readiness for defensive action. The commander 
of the relieving battalion reports to his regimental com- 
mander as soon as the battalion is in position. 

d. The execution of the relief takes place under direction 
of the battalion commander being relieved; he remains in 



command of his battalion area until the relief has been 
completed; in event of hostile attack during the relief, he 
conducts the defense, and the incoming battalion commander 
cooperates with all the means available. 

Section HI 

MENTAL SECTOR, o. Initially the regimental commander 
may employ the reserve battalion, in whole or in part, on 
security missions, to assist the front-line battalions (holding 
garrison) in the organization of their areas, or to execute 
other construction tasks. (See FM 7-40.) Construction tasks 
may include clearing fields of fire, developing natural ob- 
stacles, laying mine fields, clearing routes for its own move- 
ment and for supply and evacuation, and construction of 
dummy works. 

b. Positions to deepen the defense, block penetrations 
from the flanks, and provide all-around protection are desig- 
nated for organization by the reserve battalion in the regi- 
mental defense order. (See fig. 16.) The first positions recon- 
noitered and prepared are those from which the reserve 
can best protect the flanks and rear of the front-line bat- 
talions and from which it can block the most probable 
penetrations of the regimental sector. 

c. The battalion executes its construction tasks and pre- 
pares its positions in accordance with priorities expressed 
in the regimental defense order. 

COMPANY. The regimental order usually assigns to the 
heavy machine guns and 81-mni mortars of the reserve bat- 
talion initial locations and missions for long-range fires in 
support of the main line of resistance. These weapons, pro- 
tected where necessary by small rifle detachmente, will 
usually be located in the rear areas of the front-line bat- 
talions. Upon commitment of the reserve battalion these 


Figure 16. Organization of interior regimental battle posi- 
tion (schematic). 


1. Within each platoon defense area, arrow points in prin- 
cipal direction of fire. 

2. Positions organized by the regimental reserve to block 
penetrations from the flank (s) and to deepen the defense 
are indicated by broken lines. 

3. Where the situation indicates the likelihood of intensive 
bombardment by hostile combat aviation, or armored attack, 
the regimental reserve occupies prepared defense areas to — 

a. Support forward battalions by the fire of its heavy 



6. Defend in place, extending in depth the organized resist- 
ance of the regiment. 

c. Reassemble and move to counterattack when bombard- 
ment, the threat of bombardment, or armored attack is past. 

4. Where the situation indicates attack by infantry sup- 
ported by artillery, the heavy weapons of the regimental 
reserve, protected by small rifle detachments, are emplaced 
for the execution of prepared defensive fires. That part of 
the reserve not so engaged is held in a concealed, defiladed 
area, prepared to occupy its selected defense areas or move 
to counterattack. (See FM 7-40.) 

weapons are released to it. (For subsequent fire missions, 
see FM 7-15.) 

terrain within the area of the reserve affords a concealed, 
defiladed position which is readily accessible to the defense 
areas and to areas from, which to counterattack, and which 
is of sufficient size to permit the necessary dispersion of 
troops, it may be assigned as an assembly area for occupancy 
by the reserve (less heavy weapons emplaced for long-range 
fires). For conditions governing its use, see paragraph 231. 
The regimental order will designate its location, and alao the 
assembly position for attached tanks and tank destroyers. 
The assembly area should be protected by natural obstacles. 
Mine fields are laid and antitank obstacles constructed as 
time permits. 

230. COUNTERATTACK PLANS, a. The regimental order 
announces the assumed penetrations against which counter- 
attack plans will be prepared. The commander of the reserve 
battalion prepares the plans, effects the necessary coordina- 
tion with supporting units, and submits the plans to the regi- 
mental commander for approval. 

6. Unless specifically ordered by higher authority the 
counterattack is not directed against an objective outside the 
regimental sector. However, adjacent commanders collaborate 
in plans to eject penetrations which compromise the integrity 
of both areas, and the higher commander is informed of such 



c. A counterattack plan includes the route to the line of 
departure; the line of departure; formation; direction of 
counterattack; objective; initial missions for heavy weapons, 
cannon company, and artillery, together with time or signal 
to lift fires and subsequent fire missions; and tank support, 
if provided. (For counterattack with tanks, see FMs 7-40 and 
17-36.) If the route to the location from which the coun- 
terattack is to be made crosses into the sector of an adjacent 
regiment, the movement is coordinated with its commander. 

d. Subordinate commanders are fully acquainted with 
counterattack plans. They are given opportunity to recon- 
noiter the ground and familiarize their troops with the de- 
tails of execution. If practicable, counterattacks are re- 

e. Each counterattack is planned to strike a single fully 
coordinated blow, supported by all available fires, to regain 
a lost portion of the main line of resistance. It is usually 
directed against the shoulder of the penetration. [See also 
par. 2256(1).] Little or no reserve is held out. Artillery 
and mortar fires may be used to soften up the penetration 
or to prevent the entrance of additional hostile troops into 
the penetrated area. If the route of advance of the counter- 
attacking force is exposed, smoke is freely used to blind the 
hostile observation. Usually the cannon company will be 
placed in close support of the battalion for its counterattack. 
The antitank platoon is employed as in an attack. 

/. If the counterattack succeeds in driving out the penetrat- 
ing forces they are pursued by fire. The battalion then oc- 
cupies the recaptured area and organizes its position as for 
defense of the main line of resistance. New reserves are 
created from units displaced from their original positions 
by the penetration and counterattack. If the counterattack 
is stopped short of its objective, units dig in and hold the 
areas they occupy. When the reserve counterattacks, a new 
reserve is constituted from whatever troops are available. 

g. (1) In general, the planning involved in using the 
reserve battalion and attached tanks in a joint counterattack 
is the same as that outlined for the battalion reserve com- 
pany. [See par. 2256(2).] 



(2) The heavy weapons company of the reserve battalion, 
adjacent infantry, artillery, tank destroyers, chemical mor- 
tars and rocket units, slow down or stop the enemy attack. 
Elements of the attached tanks may aid in this mission. While 
the counterattacking force is moving to the line of departure, 
the fires of the artillery, cannon company, assault guns, 
and all available mortars are delivered into the penetration. 
The tanks form the attacking echelon. The second echelon 
may be composed of either infantry, or tanks and infantry. 
The light tank compansr may be used to protect the flanks 
or aid the infantry in mopping-up. While the infantry is 
reorganizing and restoring the main line of resistance, tank 
destroyer units may be moved forward to aid in antitank 
defense. Unless strongly supported by suitable tanks, tank 
destroyers and antitank weapons, the reserve does not 
counterattack while strong enemy mechanized forces remain 
in the area of the planned counterattack. 

a. When the situation indicates the likelihood of intensive 
bombardment by hostile combat aviation or attack by ar- 
mored forces which initially might immobilize the regimental 
reserve, the latter is directed by the regimental commander 
to occupy selected defense areas that it has previously 
organized. From these positions it is prepared to support 
front-line battalions by the fires of its heavy weapons, defend 
in place, or reassemble and move to the counterattack or to 
flank or rear positions for all-around defense. 

6. (1) Where the situation indicates attack by infantry 
supported by artillery, heavy weapons are emplaced for the 
execution of the initial missions prescribed by the regiment. 
If an assembly area has been designated, that part of the 
reserve not so employed is directed by the regimental com- 
mander to occupy it, prepared to move to selected defense 
areas or counterattack. Otherwise, it occupies defense areas 
designated by the regimental commander. 

(2) When the reserve occupies an assembly area, units 
are dispersed and individuals dig foxholes for protection 
against air and tank attacks. The battalion antitank platoon 



is disposed to protect the assembly area. Cannon company 
howitzers may also be employed. 

c. In either case given above, plans are formulated against 
attempted landings from the air. (See section V.) Air-anti- 
tank guards are assigned. Small combat groups and security 
patrols are employed for protection against enemy infil- 
tration, particularly at night. The regimental order defines 
the area of responsibility for such action. 

232. CONTROL OF MOTOR TRANSPORT. If the contem- 
plated movement of the battalion justifies their use and ade- 
quate defilade exists, sufficient company vehicles may be 
retained with the battalion to move weapons and ammunition. 
Prime movers for antitank guns are retained under platoon 

COMBAT. When the enemy launches his attack, the com- 
mander of the reserve battalion keeps himself informed of 
the situation by personal reconnaissance and by the use of 
observers and officers detailed to effect liaison. He must be 
in constant touch with his command post and with the regi- 
mental commander. He usually remains with the regimental 
commander at the regimental observation post until his bat- 
talion is committed to action. 

Section IV 

234. DEFENSE ON A WIDE FRONT, a. When the bat- 
talion is assigned a frontage of such width that mutual sup- 
port between front-line units would be impracticable if one 
defensive position were organized in the normal manner, 
flexibility in defense is essential. Plans must be prearranged 
so that the battalion can shift its defensive weight rapidly 
to meet the main attack of the enemy as it develops, and con- 
stitute an island of resistance capable of all-around defense. 
If time permits, several battalion defense areas are prepared. 

6. The frontage of the battalion is normally divided be- 



tween two rifle companies, each of which covers its frontage 
with a series of outguards and holds the bulk of its strength 
mobile in a concealed assembly area. The reserve company 
is similarly held mobile. Elements held mobile dig foxholes 
in their assembly areas. 

c. If covered lateral routes permit the shifting of light 
and heavy machine guns, the bulk of these weapons may ini- 
tially be located well forward where their fire power will de- 
lay the hostile advance while the rifle companies (less their 
light machine guns) are being shifted to meet the main at- 
tack. If the terrain does not readily permit such forward use, 
machine guns are distributed in depth. If available, addition- 
al non-organic machine guns are procured and emplaced. 
81-mm mortars are located to cover the principal avenues of 
hostile approach and are prepared to move rapidly to supple- 
mentary positions. Antitank guns may be initially emplaced 
on the more likely avenues of mechanized advance with their 
prime movers nearby, prepared to move to a threatened area. 
Cannon company weapons are usually held under regimental 
control; if attached or in close support of the battalion they 
are held mobile in a central location prepared to move to 
previously selected firing positions. Artillery concentrations 
and normal barrages are planned to cover the front and 
flanks of each battalion defense area that is organized. 

d. Early information of the direction of the hostile ad- 
vance is essential. Patrols furnished with rapid means of com- 
munication, including voice radios, are pushed well to the 
front and flanks. 

235. DEFENSE IN WOODS, a. Defense in woods is charac- 
terized by short fields of fire and lack of observation. To 
cope with these conditions, reliance must be placed on closely 
coordinated defensive fires of riflemen and automatic rifle- 
men, antipersonnel mines, constant patrolling, extensive use 
of local security groups, and the preparation of routes for 
rapid shifting of reserves. 

6. Limited fields of fire within the position necessitate re- 
duction of distances and intervals between individuals and 
units. Company supports and the battalion reserve will be 



held mobile; counterattack plans will be prepared. Forward 
platoons also may hold a squad or half-squad mobile for local 
counterattack or to deal with infiltrating groups. 

c. There will be little or no opportunity for long-range ma- 
chine-gun fires. Guns whose mission is not close support of 
the main line of resistance are, therefore, initially sited well 
forward to limit penetrations and protect the flanks of the 
forward elements of the battalion. Supplementary positions 
are prepared. Fire lanes ' are cut to lay down bands of ma- 
chine-gun fire along the front and flanks of organized areas. 
Terrain restrictions sometimes make it necessary to employ 
machine guns singly, rather than by section. (See FM 7-15.) 
The 81-mm mortars are emplaced in openings in the woods 
or openings are cut to make firing possible. Every opportuni- 
ty is taken to register fires before contact. 

d. Antitank weapons and mines are placed so as to cover 
roads or other likely avenues of armored advance. (See 
FM 7-35.) 

e. Elements of the cannon company supporting the bat- 
talion are held in positions from which they can give close 
support to the main line of resistance and counterattacks, or 
fire into penetrations. (See FM 7-37.) 

/. Plans should be made for the supporting artillery to 
cover avenues of approach by defensive concentrations which 
can be fired without observation. 

g. Constant patrolling is maintained to the front, flanks, 
and within the position. Local security groups are equipped 
with rapid means of communication, including voice radios, 
in order to give immediate warning of hostile advance. 

h. Successful defense depends upon vigilance, accurate 
surveillance of hostile movements, close defensive fires, hand- 
to-hand combat, rapid counterattack, and the mopping up of 
groups which infiltrate the position. 

236. DEFENSE IN JUNGLE, a. General. Jungle varies in 
denseness according to locality. In general terms, it may con- 
sist of any combination of open sabanas, usually with high 
grass, cultivated plantations, light jungle, or impenetrable 
jungle traversable only by circuitous established trails. The 



topography also varies between relatively flat coastal plains, 
some with inlets or swamps and inland plateaus, through 
broken and extremely hilly areas to difficult mountain ranges 
and peaks. (See also par. 164.) 

b. Principle of defense. (1) General. In light jungle, 
the principles of defense as outlined in Defense in Woods 
are applicable. (See par. 235.) Consideration should be di- 
rected, however, to adjoining areas that may contain dense 
jungle, and hidden obstacles which may influence the capa- 
bilities of the enemy and our own contemplated operations. 
Thorough and continuous ground reconnaissance is indispen- 
sable because of the limited effectiveness of security elements 
and the high degree of concealment from air observation af- 
forded the enemy by even light jungle. Dense jungle im- 
poses severe limitations on the defensive use of weapons be- 
cause observation is often limited to a few yards. These fac- 
tors, along with the restriction of maneuver and control, 
place the highest premium on planning, coordination, and 
small-unit leadership. 

(2) Selection of terrain. Judicious selection of terrain is, 
to a high degree, vital to the success of the defense. High 
ground often has lighter jungle than low ground, thus afford- 
ing increased visibility and fields of fire, as well as better 
communications and ability to maneuver. The dense jungle in 
the low ground constitutes a substantial obstacle to the enemy 
and canalizes his approach. The control of a series of key 
points substantially denies the enemy possession of the area 
because his power to maneuver, supply lines, and communica- 
tions are so highly restricted, and his supporting weapons are 
of such relatively small value due to lack of observation, mo- 
bility, and masking. (See fig. 17.) 

(3) Organization of the ground. Defense of important 
rear area installations, such as airfields and supply 
depots generally requires a continuous main line of re- 
sistance. Advantage is taken of ridge lines, series of hills, 
and the less dense portions of the jungle on which to estab- 
lish this line. Fields of fire, which at best may be extremely 
short, are cleared as required. A linear defense of the front 
line is indicated, as opposed to the thoroughly organized de- 




Figure 17. Position for all-around defense in jungle, 

fense in depth of an ordinary battle position, with minimum 
distances between foxholes and no gap between units. Se- 
curity elements are not necessarily placed to the front, with 
the exception that substantial groups, dug in for all-around 
defense, may cover trails and other approaches to the posi- 
tion to delay the enemy and give warning of his approach. 
Lightly equipped and experienced patrols, with specific mis- 
sions, should frequently be sent considerable distances to the 
front, using existing trails. Warning of an impending at- 
tack by large enemy patrols or in force is conveyed princi- 
pally by ear and augmented by illumination from flares. Pull 
use is made of the jungle as an obstacle ; in addition artificial 



obstacles such as barbed wire, booby traps and trip flares 
are used liberally. Most of the machine guns, particularly 
the heavy guns, are sited on the front line for maximum 
flanking fire. Automatic rifles are sited to supplement the 
machine guns and fill in the gaps. The supporting mortar 
primary target areas and artillery normal barrages are 
plotted and registered to establish a curtain of fire across 
the front on the edge of the safety limit. Planned concentra- 
tions are used to destroy enemy advancing or forming on 
trails and areas to the front of the position. Enemy patrols 
are repulsed by the use of grenades and close combat if they 
reach the foxholes, since the firing of weapons at vague 
targets will disclose the position and draw immediate fire. 
Supports and reserves should be small and close to the main 
line of resistance, dug in for all-around defense, and suf- 
ficiently alerted for their own defense against infiltrating 
enemy troops, and instant employment in case of a penetra- 
tion. Command posts and other installations must be protect- 
ed, within these all-around defense areas. Maximum use 
should be made of wire communication to limit movement 
of individuals and maintain contact within the defensive po- 
sition. The normal limitations of radio in jungle operations 
make it a secondary means of communication. 

c. Independent units. The selection of terrain is still para- 
mount for independent units which must defend. Key points 
or other suitable ground will be organized for all-around 
perimeter defense. The type of organization applies to units 
of all sizes, from a small group up to, but seldom exceeding, 
a battalion. Security measures, use of patrols, the emplace- 
ment and siting of automatic weapons, and the use of con- 
centrations and barrages are similar to those employed in 
the case of a cordon defense of the main line. Supports and 
reserves, dug in for all-around defense within the perimeter, 
and with small, but well trained, patrols operating within the 
perimeter, are also employed. Insofar as the terrain permits, 
perimeters or key points should be mutually supporting by all 
types of fire, so that units not being hard pressed may assist 
others by fire support, and in case a key point is taken by the 
enemy, make his position untenable by the concentrated fire 



of all weapons. This mutual fire support requires careful 
prior planning and coordination. The integrity of a perimeter 
defense is to a large degree predicated upon its supply, par- 
ticularly of food, water, and ammunition. Armed escorts will 
be provided from reserve elements for the protection of sup- 
ply details, the size depending upon enemy activity. Emer- 
gency supply or supply over long distances may be effected 
from parachute dumping by air transport. 

237. DEFENSE IN TOWNS, a. The built-up portions of 
towns canalize the hostile attack along the streets approach- 
ing the position, but permit small enemy groups to work un- 
observed through or over buildings. 

6. If the main line of resistance is along a street, close de- 
fensive fires are coordinated on that street. Barricades for 
machine guns are constructed in entrances to buildings or 
other localities sufficiently removed from street intersections 
to be out of the line of fire directed down the approaches. 
Mortar and artillery fires cover approaches to the position. 
Long-range machine-gun fires are obtained from elevated 
positions in buildings. Antitank guns are sited to cover street 

c. The bulk of the troops on the main line of resistance oc- 
cupy positions on the ground or lower floors of buildings. 
Snipers are posted in upper stories. To provide adequate 
fields of fire, open areas within the town are defended from 
the near side. Reserves organize rear positions across lateral 
streets parallel to the main line of resistance to add depth to 
the position and provide flank protection. Concealed routes 
for counterattack are obtained by cutting passageways 
through buildings, where necessary. (See FM 31-50.) 

d. Each unit is assigned a clearly defined area of respon- 
sibility. These areas must be so located that they are mu- 
tually supporting and capable of all-around defense. Sup- 
porting weapons such as 57-mm antitank guns, machine 
guns, and 60-mm mortars are normally attached to the rifle 
platoon within whose area they are located. (See FM 7-35.) 
If other weapons such as 105-mm howitzers, 81-mm mortars 
or 4.2 chemical mortars are attached to front-line companies, 
they are usually held under company control. (See FM 7-37.) 



238. DEFENSE OF A RIVER LINE. a. General. (1) 
Battalion defending a normal frontage, (a) Where the 
river is an effective barrier and the terrain is suitable for the 
development of close defensive fires, the main line of resis- 
tance is placed on the near bank of the river and the defense 
is organized as in any other comparable terrain. 

(b) If the banks of the river are heavily wooded and time 
does not permit extensive clearing of fields of fire, or if the 
terrain at the river bank is otherwise unsuited for close de- 
fensive fires, the main line of resistance may be withdrawn 
from the river in order to obtain improved fields of grazing 
fire. The line must be close enough to the river (500 yards) 
so that the near bank can be adequately covered by rifle 
and machine-gun fire. If the banks are steep, and dead 
space exists, they may be covered by mortar fire, and/or 
detachments posted at the top of the bank. 

(2) Battalion defending a wide frontage. The defense 
of a river line where extremely wide frontages have been 
assigned, corresponds to the defense on a wide front on other 
similar terrain. The near bank of the river is lightly held 
by outguards equipped with automatic weapons. The bat- 
talion, less detachments, is held mobile prepared to occupy 
previously prepared positions to block the most likely hostile 
crossing points. The battalion reserve is prepared to counter- 
attack to deny the enemy a foothold on the near bank. 

6. Antitank defense. The antitank platoon is usually held 
mobile in the rear area of the battalion. Unless the enemy 
is known to possess amphibian tanks, no antitank guns are 
emplaced on the river bank, since tanks will usually not be 
ferried until other hostile troops establish a bridgehead. 

c. Covering forces. If the main line of resistance is on the 
near bank the combat outpost is located across the river. If 
the main line of resistance is withdrawn from the near bank 
the combat outpost may be located on the near bank and 
send its patrols across the river. 

d. Demolitions. All means of crossing the river are re- 
moved or t destroyed. Bridges are completely demolished so 
that a crossing cannot be made on the wreckage. Fords are 



destroyed or rendered impassable with obstacles. The with- 
drawal of covering forces is carefully coordinated with the 
work of demolition crews. 

e. Signal communication. Rapid dissemination of informa- 
tion and transmission of orders is essential to successful de- 
fense. Reliance is not placed upon any one means of com- 
munication to the exclusion of others. Combat outposts and 
patrols should be provided with voice radios. 

/. Fires. In addition to its defensive fires the supporting 
artillery should be requested to prepare fires on portions of 
the river that are suitable for ferrying operations and bridge 

Section V 


a. General. (1) Airborne troops will ordinarily be employed 
by the enemy on missions essential to the success of the op- 
eration as a whole, and not on missions which will influence 
only a local issue. They may be used as a spearhead to facili- 
tate the breakthrough of ground forces by paralyzing com- 
munications and disrupting the movement of reserves to the 
threatened point through the seizure of important bridges 
or other defiles. When so used, they will strike suddenly and 
in sufficient numbers to assure reasonably the successful ac- 
complishment of their mission. Although their objectives will 
usually be deeper in the defender's territory than areas held 
by front-line battalions, adequate close-in defensive measures 
must be taken by the latter to protect important battalion in- 
stallations. For local security of the battalion command post 
against such operations, see paragraph 45. 

(2) Troops landed by parachute and glider cannot long 
sustain combat unaided because of the nature of their equip- 
ment and the limited supplies initially landed with them. 
Large-scale attacks by such troops will usually be made to 
seize control of a bridgehead, local airfield, beachhead, or 
other locality whose seizure will permit the rapid landing 



of reinforcements. This section deals with defense against 
this type of operation. 

b. Conduct of the attack. (1) The air attack may be divided 
into four phases: 

(a) Air reconnaissance. 

(b) Aerial bombardment. 

(c) Attack by airborne troops. 

(d) Reinforcement. 

(2) The attacker seeks to locate areas favorable for land- 
ings and to determine the defenses of those areas. Parachute 
troops can land almost anywhere, but gliders and transport 
planes require open areas. It is to be expected that extensive 
aerial photographs of the operational area will be taken prior 
to the attack. After locating the organized positions of the 
defender, the attacker may subject the defenses to an in- 
tense bombardment to soften up or destroy them. Airborne 
attackers may drop on their objective or at a short distance 
therefrom, and attempt to seize it by fire and maneuver. 
As soon as a base has been captured, the enemy may be ex- 
pected to push in reserves and supplies by all available 

ing hostile reconnaissance. In order to defeat air reconnais- 
sance, concealment and camouflage are perfected to the high- 
est degree. Alternate positions for weapons and men are dug 
so that the defense is flexible and elements can be shifted 
without loss of effectiveness. The ideal to be attained is never 
to be in the same exact location on two successive days. Ex- 
tensive dummy positions are contructed for deception. 

b. During aerial bombardment. During the bombardment, 
troops take cover, fire on low-flying hostile planes on orders 
of subordinate leaders, and hold themselves in readiness to 
meet an attack. If movement is essential during the bombard- 
ment, it should be done quickly in dispersed formations, and 
by covered or concealed routes. 

c' During hostile landings. (1) The defenders endeavor to 
destroy the attackers immediately after the landing is made. 
All defending troops in the vicinity of the landing will im- 



mediately offer aggressive resistance, regardless of their own 
numbers, or the magnitude of the hostile attack. Units al- 
ready on the ground possess a temporary superiority in com- 
bat power over those just landed or attempting to land. The 
defending commander must guard against having his mobile 
forces lured too far away from the main enemy objective by 
landings spaced and timed for that purpose, or by the drop- 
ping of dummies by parachute. 

(2) The attacker's aircraft can render but slight close 
support to his landing groups until these have effected a con- 
siderable degree of reorganization and assembly, since their 
exact dispositions will not be known to his air units. 

d. Counterattack. Should the attacker succeed in gaining 
his objective and in landing reinforcements the defender must 
drive him out and regain the lost area. Depending upon the 
situation and the size and composition of the defending force, 
the local battalion commander may either launch an imme- 
diate counterattack or occupy a defensive position to block 
the hostile advance and form a base for counterattack by a 
larger element of the force charged with the defense of the 

e. Armored vehicles. During the initial phase of the at- 
tack, airborne troops are particularly vulnerable to counter- 
attack by armored vehicles. The defender should employ all 
available armored vehicles immediately without extensive 
reconnaissance to destroy gliders or other aircraft and land- 
ing groups as soon as possible after the landing is made. 

241. CONDUCT OF THE DEFENSE, a. General. Since 
parachute troops can land almost anywhere, it will usually 
be impracticable to dispose defending troops so that they can 
bring coordinated fire to bear on enemy troops as they de- 
scend; however, plans should provide for an immediate coun- 
terattack. Careful reconnaissance for firing positions, routes 
available in the area, provisions for a mobile reserve (s), es- 
tablishment of an adequate warning system with observation 
and surveillance of the entire area, and preparation of de- 
fensive works, including concealment and camouflage, are es- 
sential. It is particularly important that plans of fire and 



maneuver be prepared and rehearsed so that different friend- 
ly elements do not fire into one another. Depending upon the 
size of the area to be defended against airborne attack, its 
road net, and available transportation and communication 
facilities, the battalion commander may hold the bulk of his 
forces mobile with an adequate warning system established, 
or he may assign small, fixed defensive groups to the more 
important areas, holding out one or more mobile reserves; or 
he may divide his entire battalion into fixed, mutually sup- 
porting groups and assign a group to each of the more 
important areas. 

6. Motor transport. Motor transport is essential for the re- 
serve elements and in some cases for the fixed groups. Ve- 
hicles should not be pooled; they should be distributed and 
concealed near each element of the reserve. Motor patrols 
are necessary as an adjunct to the warning system and should 
operate 24 hours a day. 

c. Signal communication. Rapid communication between 
elements of the battalion and observation posts is essential. 
Wire communication, as well as radio, motor messengers, and 
pyrotechnic and other visual signals, is maintained to all ele- 

d. Alertness. Alertness is required in all echelons. Ob- 
servers in each unit are constantly on duty to give warning 
of air or ground attack from any direction. must be im- 
pressed upon each subordinate element that there is no 
"front" and that each unit must be prepared to strike swiftly 
and in any direction. 



Chapter 10 

Section I 

242. REFERENCES. For the fundamental doctrines cover- 
ing retrograde movements, see FM 100-5. For principles gov- 
erning retrograde movements of the infantry regiment and 
its smaller units, see FMs 7-10, 7-15, 7-35, 7-37, and 7-40. 
For the employment of tanks with infantry, see FM 17-36. 

Section II 

243. GENERAL, a. The regiment may be required to break 
contact with the enemy and withdraw, protected by a general 
covering force detailed by the higher commander (in addi- 
tion to its own covering force) , or it may be required to with- 
draw protected solely by elements of the regiment designated 
to cover the withdrawal. (For composition, placing, and con- 
duct of the regimental covering force, see FM 7-40.) 

6. A front-line battalion executes a daylight withdrawal 
from action by withdrawing each echelon under the protec- 
tion of the next unit to its rear. (See fig. 18.) Each front- 
line company withdraws its forward platoons under cover 
of its support platoon. The front-line platoons execute their 
withdrawal by a thinning out of their lines while protecting 
themselves by the fire of automatic weapons left in position 
to be withdrawn with the last elements. These platoons will 
usually be assembled in rear of the battalion reserve (bat- 
talion covering force). The support platoons of front-line 
companies withdraw under the protection of the battalion 
reserve in the same manner as do the front-line platoons and 
rejoin their companies. If a regimental covering force is es- 
tablished to the rear, the battalion reserve withdraws under 
its protection. If no covering force has been established by 
higher headquarters, elements of the front-line companies 
may be placed temporarily in position in rear of the reserve 



company to cover the withdrawal of the battalion reserves; 
otherwise front-line companies move to a battalion as- 
sembly area (or initial phase line) as soon as assembled. 
Thus the battalion shoulders its way to the rear until contact 
is broken and the battalion can be re-formed. 

c. In order to control the withdrawal of the forward bat- 
talions, the regimental commander may assign zones of with- 
drawal and phase lines. When phase lines have been desig- 
nated, the battalion commander designates the vicinity of 
the first phase line as the battalion assembly area ; otherwise 

Figure 18. Front-line battalion in daylight withdrawal (sche- 
matic). Sequence of withdrawal of platoons within com- 
panies is indicated by the numbers 1 and 2. Sequence of 
withdrawal of platoons of the battalion reserve is indicated 
by the numbers 3 and 4, 



he designates the first suitable delaying position in rear of 
the regimental covering force as the assembly area. Subor- 
dinate units move directly to this position, and occupy it as 
for delaying action. Further movement to the rear is executed 
as directed by the regimental commander. 

TALION, a. Reconnaissance. The nature of the action usual- 
ly precludes extensive reconnaissance. If practicable, a bat- 
talion staff officer reconnoiters and posts guides to direct 
the withdrawing elements to the battalion assembly area (or 
initial phase line). Subordinate units conduct such recon- 
naissance of routes as time permits. 

b. Orders. The withdrawal orders of the battalion com- 
mander are brief, fragmentary, and oral. Such orders are 
usually transmitted by staff officers in order to avoid sum- 
moning the lower commanders whose units are engaged with 
the enemy. The battalion order includes the following: 

(1) Composition and location of the battalion covering 

(2) Attachment of elements of the heavy weapons com- 
pany and antitank platoon to front-line companies. 

(3) Time of withdrawal of each echelon. 

(4) Zones or routes of withdrawal for each company. 

(5) Location of battalion assembly area (or initial phase 

(6) Route of withdrawal of battalion command post and 
successive locations. 

c. Sequence of withdrawal. The sequence of a daylight 
withdrawal is usually the aid station group, headquarters 
company (less antitank platoon), front-line rifle companies, 
and reserve company. The front-line rifle companies may be 
echeloned in their withdrawal, beginning with the least close- 
ly engaged; however, they are usually withdrawn simul- 

d. Battalion supporting weapons. Supporting weapons lo- 
cated in the areas of forward rifle companies are attached 
to those companies for the initial phase of the withdrawal. 
Rear heavy machine guns may be retained under company 



control or attached to the battalion covering force; if neces- 
sary, the forward guns may also be attached to the battalion 
covering force when they reach the area it occupies. The 81- 
mm mortars are withdrawn to the rear of the battalion to 
cover the withdrawal of the forward elements. One or more 
sections may be attached to the covering force. The battalion 
antitank guns are withdrawn with the forward companies 
and are then usually attached to the battalion covering force. 
Weapon carriers and antitank-gun prime movers are brought 
as far forward as practicable by infiltration. 

e. Attached elements of cannon company. The regimental 
commander will usually attach to forward battalions any 
elements of the cannon company which are located in the 
areas of those battalions at the time the withdrawal is to be 
executed. Such elements are ordinarily attached to the bat- 
talion covering force, and withdraw with it. Regimental or- 
ders usually terminate the attachment of these elements to 
the battalion when the latter passes the area occupied by 
the regimental covering force. 

/. Supporting artillery. When centralized control of the 
supporting artillery battalion is impracticable, a part (usual- 
ly one light battery) is attached to each withdrawing infan- 
try battalion. Whether attached or in support, the mission of 
the artillery is to insure the withdrawal of the unit it sup- 
ports by remaining in position and continuing its fire, sup- 
port as long as possible. 

g. Attached tanks. Tanks, by offensive action, may be 
used to aid the infantry in accomplishing a daylight with- 
drawal. Tanks located in concealed forward assembly posi- 
tions can make offensive sweeps and thrusts against the ex- 
posed enemy thereby demoralizing his troops and disorganiz- 
ing his attack. 

the withdrawal of a front-line battalion is conducted with 
all practicable speed to prevent the enemy from taking ad- 
vantage of the situation. Fires of supporting elements of the 
cannon company and artillery and those of battalion sup- 
porting weapons are directed to interdict hostile movement 
into the gaps created by the withdrawal of elements of the 



forward companies and employed to cover the withdrawal 
of those elements still in close contact. Smoke may be fired 
by these weapons or by supporting chemical troops to assist 
in the withdrawal. 

246. SIGNAL COMMUNICATION. The battalion command 
post, operated by a skeleton crew, remains open in the old 
location until the forward rifle companies have passed the 
area of the battalion covering force. All other command post 
personnel and communication equipment move to the battal- 
ion assembly area with the first withdrawing echelon of the 
battalion, prepared to reopen upon battalion order. Wire com- 
munication is not established to the rear. 

talion acts as the covering force of a larger unit, it has the 
mission of stopping, delaying, or diverting the advance of the 
enemy in order to permit the troops in contact to disengage, 
assemble, and move to the rear. Its initial position and the 
length of time this position is to be held are prescribed by 
the higher commander. A counterattack with a limited ob- 
jective is frequently effective. 

a. Supporting arms. Elements of the regimental antitank 
and cannon companies ordinarily are attached to the bat- 
talion. Units of the regimental intelligence and reconnais- 
sance platoon, artillery, tanks, engineers, antiaircraft auto- 
matic weapons, tank destroyers, and chemical troops also may 
be attached. 

6. Conduct. (1) The battalion organizes and defends the 
covering position in a manner similar to that employed in a 
delaying action. (See sec. IV.) The battalion commander co- 
ordinates the long-range fires of his supporting weapons with 
those of any larger general covering force established by 
higher authority. 

(2) When its mission is accomplished, the covering force 
withdraws under cover of the fires of its own supporting 
weapons and reserve. It then forms the rear guard for the 
retiring force or, if aggressive hostile pursuit makes it nec- 
essary, occupies successive delaying positions to the rear. 



Section III 


248. GENERAL, a. A front-line battalion executes a night 
withdrawal by the simultaneous withdrawal of all elements 
of the battalion, less troops left in place as a covering force. 
The success of the withdrawal depends upon careful coordina- 
tion and secrecy. The withdrawal of troops and weapons, and 
their subsequent assembly, are conducted as quietly as pos- 
sible. Troops of the covering force, by their fires and pa- 
trolling, simulate the normal activities of the battalion. 

6. The regimental commander will usually attach to a 
front-line battalion all elements of supporting units located in 
its area for withdrawal to the battalion assembly area. Their 
further withdrawal will be as directed by regimental order. 

c. Preparatory to a night withdrawal, tanks may attack 
late in the afternoon to confuse the enemy and disrupt his 
attack. They should then be withdrawn in rear of the general 
covering force. From this rear position the tanks can assist 
by fire the withdrawal of other troops and be used early 
next day for counterattack. Such counterattacks are limited 
objective attacks and must be strongly supported by artillery 
and infantry. It is seldom practicable to employ tanks dur- 
ing the actual time of withdrawal at night. 

249. COVERING FORCE, a. The strength and composition 
of the battalion covering force may be designated by the regi- 
mental commander. The covering force usually consists of not 
more than one-third of the rifle strength of the battalion 
and such supporting weapons with skeleton crews as are re- 

6. Normally, one rifle squad is left in place in the defense 
area of each platoon of the forward rifle companies. (See 
fig. 19.) As soon as the platoons have been withdrawn, per- 
sonnel of the squad left in place by each front-line platoon 
distribute themselves to cover the most likely enemy ap- 
proaches to the platoon area and afford close protection to 
supporting weapons. The support squad of each front-line 
company is used to eject hostile patrols entering the position 
and for local patrolling. One rifle platoon is usually left in 



place in the battalion reserve area. It is responsible for pa- 
trolling, for protecting the covering-force command post, and 
for blocking the more likely avenues of hostile approach into 
the position. 

c. One gun of each section of light or heavy machine guns 
emplaced in close support of the main line of resistance is at- 
tached to the covering force. If the terrain permits the firing 
of long-range fire missions by rear guns, one section of these 
guns may also be attached. Not to exceed one-half of the 
81-mm mortars and of the 60-mm mortars of front-line 
companies are left in position to fire normal night missions. 

d. One or more antitank guns may be left in position to 
cover those avenues of approach that can be traversed by 
hostile armored vehicles at night; however, such approaches 

Figure 19. Front-line battalion in night withdrawal (sche- 
matic). (Elements shown by 'solid symbols constitute the 
battalion covering force.) 



may be defended by personnel equipped with antitank rifle 
grenade launchers and rocket launchers, thus permitting the 
antitank guns to be withdrawn with the battalion. 

e. The covering force commander (usually the battalion 
executive officer) normally takes over the battalion com- 
mand post location with a skeleton operating crew, messen- 
gers, and the necessary wire and radio communication facili- 
ties. The regimental order will specify the medical personnel 
to remain with the covering force ; each battalion may be re- 
quired to leave part of its aid station group in place, or the 
regimental aid station may supply all medical facilities. 

250. EECONNAISSANCE. If practicable, all units recon- 
noiter routes to their assembly areas during daylight. If the 
battalion is to organize and occupy a rear position following 
the withdrawal, the reconnaissance includes the rear posi- 
tion. Necessary guides are posted from each company. Be- 
connaissance groups are limited as to number and size, in 
order to preserve secrecy. 

251. OEDEES. a. Warning orders are issued to company 
commanders as soon as the decision to withdraw is known. 
Such orders, as well as the details of the orders to be issued 
later, are transmitted by messengers, staff officers, or by the 
battalion commander in person. Company commanders and 
commanders of attached units whose units are in contact 
with the enemy are not assembled to receive orders. If wire 
communication has been established to companies, orders are 
not transmitted by wire if there is any possibility of hostile 
wire tapping. Withdrawal orders are not transmitted by 

b. The following outline indicates the matter, when ap- 
propriate, to be included in the battalion order: 


1. Any new information concerning • enemy or friendly 

2. General plan for the withdrawal. 

3. Instructions to subordinate units. 



a. Location of battalion assembly area (usually desig- 
nated by the regimental commander) and the forward 
assembly area of each company. 

b. Routes and time of withdrawal for rifle companies 
and supporting and attached elements. 

c. Composition of the battalion covering force to be left 
in position. 

d. Designation of the covering force commander and 
the time he assumes command (usually just prior to 
the time the front-line companies initiate their with- 
drawal) . 

e. Attachment of elements of the heavy weapons com- 
pany and battalion antitank platoon to rifle com- 
panies for their withdrawal. 

/. Route and time of withdrawal of the covering force. 

4. Administrative instructions and information. 

a. Use of motor transport. 

b. Ammunition supply for the covering force; for the 
withdrawing force en route, if necessary; and on any 
rear position. 

c. Plan for evacuation of casualties. 

5. Communication instructions. 

a. Index to signal operations instructions in effect. 

b. Restrictions, if any, on use of radio. 

c. Special pyrotechnic signals. 

d. Measures to deceive the enemy. 

e. Present or future locations of command post or com- 

platoons withdraw under cover to the rear where they are 
assembled and moved to their company assembly areas. Upon 
assembly, each company moves directly to the battalion as- 
sembly area. The movement should be so timed and coor- 
dinated that there is no appreciable waiting in company 
assembly areas. 



b. The regimental order may designate the forward limit 
of movement for motor vehicles, usually no farther forward 
than the first crest in rear of the main line of resistance. 
Vehicles are moved singly or in small groups and all move- 
ment is made without lights. Weapons emplaced in the areas 
of the forward rifle companies are attached to those com- 
panies for withdrawal to the location of the company vehicles 
where they are dispatched singly to the battalion assembly 
area. Sufficient motor transport is left with the covering 
force to move its supporting weapons. 

c. All elements of the battalion (less the covering force) 
should arrive at the battalion assembly area in time for the 
battalion to move ;to the new position area in accordance with 
the regimental order. 

253. SECURITY. The covering force provides the primary 
security for the withdrawal of the battalion. The battalion 
commander provides additional close-in security for move- 
ment of the battalion to the rear position it is to occupy or 
to the regimental assembly area. After the battalion has 
reached its position or rejoined the regiment, security meas- 
ures are taken as directed by the higher commander. 

254. SIGNAL COMMUNICATION, a. The battalion com- 
mand post remains open in its old location until the battalion 
(less the covering force) leaves the assembly area. The time 
of displacement, route of movement, and new location of the 
battalion command post are announced in the battalion order. 
If the assembly area is inconveniently located with respect 
to the command post, a local line may be run to the assembly 
area to provide rapid communication with the covering force 
and with the regimental command post. 

b. The covering force uses any wire lines already estab- 
lished in the old position. A skeleton crew remains at the old 
command post to operate it as the command post of the cover- 
ing force. For purposes of deception the covering force main- 
tains normal radio traffic. It employs pyrotechnics as prear- 
ranged signals and as an aid in simulating normal activity. 
Upon its withdrawal it cuts wire circuits, installs booby 
traps, and removes some of the wire to prevent use by the 



c. During the movement of the battalion from the battalion 
assembly area to the rear, the battalion command post is with 
the marching column. Radio is silenced during this movement 
and in any new position the battalion is to occupy. Wire is 
not laid to the rear. 

mental order specifies the time and route of withdrawal and 
the assembly area(s) of the covering force. If a rear position 
is to be occupied, the covering force is usually withdrawn in 
time to be brought by daylight under the protection of the 
outpost covering the rear position. The elements of the bat- 
talion covering force are usually withdrawn simultaneously. 
The battalion covering force commander protects his move- 
ment to the rear by detailing the necessary security groups. 
He is responsible for the protection of his assembly area, or 
of an entrucking area if motor transportation is furnished 
for movement to the new position area. 

Section IV 

256. GENERAL, a. The purpose of delaying action is to gain 
time while avoiding decisive action. Delay of an advancing 
enemy may be accomplished by offensive action, by defensive 
action in one position, by delaying action in successive posi- 
tions, or by a combination of these methods. (See FM 100-5.) 

6. This section deals principally with the battalion in de- 
laying action in successive positions. 

as a part of the regiment or larger force, the battalion is 
assigned a sector on the initial delaying position and a zone 
or route (s) of withdrawal. 

a. Frontages. Units may be expected to conduct delaying 
action on frontages twice as great as in defense. 

6. Distribution of rifle companies. (1) The battalion oc- 
cupies the extended frontage by placing a greater number 

SIG 9 



of platoons on the line of resistance than in a sustained de- 
fense on similar terrain, and by allowing greater intervals 
between platoons. (See fig. 20.) If their flanks are secure, 
rifle companies assigned to the line of resistance may occupy 
their defense areas with three platoons abreast. Intervals 
between individuals and squads are not increased. Intervals 
between adjacent units must permit mutual support by fire. 

(2) Whenever practicable, the line of resistance is located 
near a topographical crest to facilitate long-range fire and 
provide immediate defilade for withdrawal to the next de- 
laying position. 

(3) The size of the battalion reserve will vary from a part 
of a rifle company to a complete company reinforced by in- 
fantry supporting weapons. It has the mission of securing 
the flanks and covering the withdrawal from the line of re- 
sistance. Factors to be considered in determining the size of 
the reserve component are the necessity for flank protection 
and whether the contemplated withdrawal is to be made dur- 
ing daylight or at night. 

(a) Security of flanks. If the terrain or disposition of 
other friendly troops are such that the flanks of the delay- 
ing force are relatively secure, it will tend to decrease the 
requirements for a reserve. Conversely, if the delaying force 
is threatened by an envelopment, a strong reserve must be 

(b) Time of withdrawal. If the withdrawal of the delay- 
ing force is to be made at night, a small reserve may suffice. 
However, if the withdrawal is to be made during daylight, 
it is necessary to hold out a reasonably strong reserve to act 
as a covering force for the withdrawal of the forward ele- 

(c) Reserve held mobile. The reserve will usually be held 
mobile in an area from which it can be moved quickly to 
block any attempt of the enemy to envelop the position, 
to cover the withdrawal of the troops on the line of resist- 
ance, or to protect the routes of withdrawal. 

c. Distribution of supporting weapons. All supporting 
weapons are initially placed well forward. Heavy machine 




guns may be located on the line of resistance. Initially, 
81-mm mortars may be assigned position areas behind the 
first crest in rear of the line of resistance. If practicable, 
firing position areas for the antitank guns may be located 
near topographical crests, with nearby cover positions se- 
lected for prime movers to facilitate withdrawal. (See also 



par. 216.) Antitank guns and cannon company howitzers 
may be required to move laterally to threatened areas. (See 
also par. 260.) Weapons that are to be withdrawn with 
rifle units are attached, to those units. Company vehicles 
are retained as close as practicable to the weapons in order 
to facilitate the withdrawal. Ammunition is kept on trucks; 
only those amounts estimated to be required for immediate 
missions are placed at the gun positions. 

d. Battalion covering force. The reserve constitutes the 
covering force, and is placed in position to facilitate its 
employment for flank protection, to assist in extricating 
forward units, and to act as a buffer to cover the with- 
drawal. Once the withdrawal of the battalion is successfully 
under way, the reserve becomes the rear guard for the bat- 
talion and may be required to continue on such duty as 
long as the enemy maintains direct pressure; it then con- 
stitutes the outpost for the next delaying position. 

e. Conduct of delaying action. (1) A battalion commander 
seeks to force the enemy off roads and slow down his advance 
by the use of obstacles and long-range fires; stop the ad- 
vance of his security elements by a heavy volume of fire; 
and force him into time-consuming preparations for attack. 
Mines are extensively used to block roads and defiles. Sup- 
porting weapons (machine guns, mortars, cannon company 
howitzers, and artillery) open fire at maximum effective 
ranges; riflemen and automatic riflemen open fire on hos- 
tile security elements at long ranges. Heavy weapons on 
the line of resistance frequently open long-range fire from 
primary positions, since the location of the line of resistance 
near a topographical crest usually does not permit the use 
of supplementary positions removed from that line, and con- 
cealment of positions of weapons is less important than in 
the sustained defense. 

(2) Tanks can be used to aid the infantry in delaying 
action by direct fire from hull defilade, by indirect fire in 
assisting the artillery, by a quick direct thrust into the 
advancing enemy, or by a surprise flank attack across the 
routes by which such a force is advancing. Such attacks 
must be strongly supported by the artillery and by the 



heavy weapons company. The tanks will usually be attached 
to the infantry unit they support. Their primary mis- 
sion is to attack a hostile force before it can endanger 
the withdrawing elements of the delaying force. When 
terrain in front of the delaying position is unsuitable 
for tank action, the tanks withdraw to a reserve position 
from which they may counterattack. From this reserve 
position they may also be used to reinforce the artillery 
fires. The infantry battalion commander acquaints the tank 
unit commander with the situation and plan, and receives 
the tank commander's recommendation. Orders should desig- 
nate the objectives for the tanks and contain necessary de- 
tails for coordination and cooperation between the infantry 
and tanks. The infantry heavy weapons and artillery must 
neutralize hostile antitank weapons during the tank attack. 

/. Withdrawal. (See Sections II and III above.) The 
withdrawal of the battalion may be commenced on order 
of the delaying force commander or on prearranged signal; 
it is coordinated with the withdrawal of the other elements 
of the delaying force by the delaying force commander. The 
delaying force commander orders the withdrawal before the 
enemy reaches a position from which he can launch a de- 
cisive assault. Forward units withdraw on designated and 
previously reconnoitered routes to company assembly areas. 
The withdrawal to the next delaying position may be 
either by battalion or companies. Companies may be with- 
drawn by separate routes if the road net is adequate. Inter- 
mediate positions covering defiles, road blocks and demoli- 
tions, or other terrain permitting delay by small units are 
designated by the battalion commander and occupied by 
cannon company, antitank, and machine-gun elements pro- 
tected by small rifle groups. Such groups withdraw in time 
to avoid capture. The reserve covers the initial withdrawal 
of the battalion. It counterattacks when necessary to dis- 
engage the forward companies. It then protects the move- 
ment of the battalion to the next delaying position. 

g. Action on rear delaying positions. The battalion com- 
mander initiates early reconnaissance of successive delaying 
positions and routes of withdrawal. The occupation of suc- 



cessive positions and the action on those positions are simi- 
lar to the occupation of and action on the first delaying 

h. Supply and evacuation. (1) Ammunition, except that 
required for immediate needs, is kept mobile on vehicles of 
units in the delaying force. Limited additional stocks may 
be placed along withdrawal routes or on successive delay- 
ing positions y however, excess amounts must be avoided to 
preclude the necessity for abandonment. In the event aban- 
donment of ammunition becomes necessary, its destruction 
must be effected to prevent capture by the enemy. 

(2) Prompt evacution of casualties is essential. Casual- 
ties should be evacuated as they occur. Aid stations must be 
evacuated prior to withdrawal. Combat trucks and personnel 
may be assigned to aid in evacuation. If the facilities for 
the evacuation of casualties are insufficient, S-4 should re- 
quest through channels the attachment of ambulances and 
personnel from the collecting company serving the regiment. 
If facilities are still insufficient to evacuate all casualties, 
it may be necessary to abandon some of them; such action 
is a command decision. Sufficient medical supplies and per- 
sonnel must be left with the abandoned casualties. 

i. Signal communication. The battalion command post is 
assigned an initial location similar to that of a front-line 
battalion in defense. (See par. 208.) The command post 
remains open until the forward units have initiated their 
withdrawal. It then marches with the battalion or, if com- 
panies are ordered to withdraw by separate routes, with one 
of the companies. 

talion conducts delaying action independently, its action is 
similar to that of a regiment operating as an independent 
delaying force. (See FM 7-40.) Rifle companies and sup- 
porting weapons are distributed, a covering force is con- 
stituted, and withdrawal is executed as indicated in para- 
graph 245. When the enemy launches his coordinated at- 
tack in superior s'trength, the battalion ordinarily withdraws 



without accepting close combat. The withdrawal to the next 
delaying position should commence before enemy rifle fire 
becomes effective, usually at about 500 yards. However, 
when the mission and situation permit, defense of the initial 
position, or of any successive position, is prolonged in order 
to take advantage of darkness to cover the withdrawal. 

a. When operating as a part of the regiment or larger force 
in delaying action in close terrain, the battalion is usually 
assigned the mission of delaying on one or more avenues 
of hostile advance. (See FM 7-40.) Successive positions to 
the rear to be reached at stated times are prescribed by the 
regiment to assure coordination and periodic resumption of 
control of the regiment. In other respects the action of the 
battalion is independent. 

6. In close terrain, lack of observation increases the dif- 
ficulties of coordination and control by all units, but facili- 
tates surprise. In densely wooded areas, the action will be 
executed principally on or near trails. Delay is effected by 
surprise fire from concealed riflemen and automatic weapons 
placed to sweep trails or roads or to deliver flanking fire 
upon them, preferably in areas which make it difficult for 
the enemy to leave the roads or trails and which force 
him to make time-consuming detours to outflank the defend- 
ers. Local attacks against the hostile flanks may also be 
employed where conditions are favorable. 

c. The battalion does not accept close combat; the with- 
drawal is so executed as to avoid being outflanked or en- 
veloped, and in time to reach the next delaying position by 
the time prescribed by the regimental commander. 

d. For delaying action in jungle warfare, see FM 72-20. 

a. One or more cannon platoons are normally attached to a 
battalion conducting a delaying action. If practicable, posi- 
tion areas should be such that firing positions may be 
located near topographical crests, with nearby cover for 
prime movers to facilitate withdrawal. Fire is opened on 



hostile elements at the longest practicable range in order 
to disorganize and delay the hostile approach. During the 
withdrawal from one delaying position to another, cannon 
elements, protected by riflemen, may occupy intermediate 
positions to harass the enemy, slow down his advance, and 
cover road blocks and other obstacles. (See FM 7-37.) 

6. The artillery is placed well forward behind the first 
main position to permit long-range fire. If a daylight with- 
drawal is anticipated, the artillery is disposed in depth, 
with some of it in rear of the next position. Each delay- 
ing position should be located to provide adequate ground 
observation for the artillery. Under conditions which would 
make close support by artillery held under regimental con- 
trol impracticable, one or more batteries may be attached 
to the battalion. (See FM 6-20.) 

c. The battalion commander employs the fires of cannon 
company weapons and artillery, whether attached or in 
support, to assist in delaying the enemy by long-range fires, 
and to provide close support during the withdrawal of all 
elements of the battalion. 

261. DELAY IN ONE POSITION. The mission and terrain 
may require that the enemy be delayed from one position. 
If the period of time the enemy must be held beyond a cer- 
tain line is such that the delaying force may be required to 
accept close combat in order to accomplish its mission, the 
position will have to be organized in greater depth and 
with stronger reserves than is necessary when the delay 
can be accomplished from successive positions. The line of 
resistance is selected, the position organized, and the action 
conducted so as to disorganize the enemy and delay his 
advance. If the situation requires the withdrawal of the 
battalion with the enemy in close contact, the withdrawal 
is conducted according to the principles of withdrawal of a 
front-line battalion described in paragraphs 245 and 252. 
Delay from one position will be accomplished only when 
the tactical situation prohibits the use of successive posi- 



Paragraphs Pages 

Adjutant 10, 40, 45, 47, 108 8, 24, 27, 75 

Administration, Headquarters company 51 32 

Advance guard: 

Bivouac outpost 110 77 

Day march 97,102 60,89 

• Night march 104 70 

Ammunition and pioneer platoon. 

(See Platoon) 
Ammunition supply point. (See also Supply, 

Class V.) 18, 92, 185, 209 13, 52, 

171, 190 

Antiaircraft security 47, 69-71, 73, 98, 99, 109-111, 29, 41-42, 

119, 123, 129, 135, 186, 223, 231 43, 60, 61, 

87, 89, 94, 
101, 172, 
213, 230 

Antimechanized defense 47,62-72,98-101,109-111, 29,38-43, 

119, 123, 125, 129, 133, 135, 142, 157, 60-67, 
185, 216, 218, 219, 223, 231, 235 76-79, 

87, 89,91, 
101, 117, 
171, 198, 
202, 203, 
213, 230, 

Antitank platoon. (See Platoon, antitank.) 

Approach march 113-125 81-91 

Artillery, supporting 122 88 

Boundaries 115 83 

Communication signal 121, 124, 125 88, 90, 91 

Conduct 123 89 

Control of motor vehicles 120, 124 88, 90 

Formations 120 88 

General 113 81 

March objectives 116 83 


INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Night 125 91 

Orders 114 82 

Phase lines 116 83 

Rear battalion 124 90 

Reconnaissance 118, 125 85, 91 

Security 119 87 

Zone and direction of advance 115 83 

Assembly areas 126, 129 93, 94 

Assignment of area 127 93 

Daylight withdrawal 243,246 243, 247» 

Defense 210, 215, 229, 231 191, 195, 

228, 230 

General 126 93 

Night attack 157 138 

Night withdrawal 252,255 251,253 

Occupation 128 94 

Reconnaissance 128 94 

River crossing 181 168 

Security 129 94 

Attack 130-205 96-187 

Advance through hostile position 146 128 

Against an organized position 131 96 

Against discontinuous resistance 131 96 

Assault 145,159 127,149 

Attack positions 135 101 

Beachheads 200-205 185-187 

Boundaries 135 101 

Communication, signal 139,157,188 114,138, 


Conduct of the attack 143 118 

Consolidation of position 147 129 

Direction 135 101 

Formation : 135 101 

Fortified position 190-194 175-179 

Jungle 164-168 156-158 

Launching the attack 142 117 


INDEX ( Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Line of departure 133,135,142,157 100,101, 

117, 138 

Main attack 132,135,141 97,101, 


Meeting engagements 131 96 

Method 132,158 97,148 

Night 155-159 135-149 

Conduct 159 149 

General 155 135 

Objectives 157 138 

Orders 158 146 

Plan 155,157 135, 138 

Preparatory actions 156 137 

Pursuit 148 130 

Reconnaissance 156 137 

Reserve _ 155 135 

Objectives 135, 147, 157, 161, 163, 180, 184 101, 129, 

138, 151, 
155, 168, 170 

OrderB 140 114 

Plan, formulation 134 101 

Plan of maneuver 135,141 101,116 

Plan of supporting fireB 136 108 

Pursuit 148 130 

Raids 195-199 179-184 

Reconnaissance 131 96 

Reorganization 146,147 128,129 

Reserve, use of 135,143,147,148-154,157, 101,118, 

162, 191, 193 129, 
152, 176, 

227-233 226-231 
173-189 162-174 
181 16S 
188 174 
187 172 

Reserve battalion 

River line 

Assembly areas 

Communication, signal 


INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Formation 178 166 

General 173 162 

Means 179,189 166,174 

Movement to river 182 169 

Objectives 180,184 168,170 

Orders 176 166 

Plans 175 164 

Reconnaissance 174 163 

Security 186 172 

Supply 187 172 

Support of initial crossing 185 171 

Secondary attack 132, 135, 143 97, 101, 118 

Security 135,144,157,159,162,176 101,127, 

138, 149, 
152, 166 

Seizure of final objective 146 128 


Class I (rations and water) 88 48 

Class II (clothing and equipment) 89 51 

Class III (gasoline and lubricants) 90 51 

Class IV (fortification materials) 91 52 
Class V (ammunition and 

pyrotechnics) 92,138 52,113 

Towns 169-172 158-162 

Woods _ 160-163 151-155 

Zones of action 135 101 

Aviation 136,157 108,138 

Battalion headquarters and staff: 

Adjutant (S-l) 10, 32, 40, 45, 47, 108 8, 23, 24, 

27, 29, 75 

Ammunition and pioneer platoon leader 7, 16 6, 12 

Antitank platoon leader 7,16 6,12 

Artillery liaison officer. (See Field 

Cannon company representatives. 

(See Company, cannon.) 
Commander. (See Commander.) 


INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Commanders of attached and 

supporting units 5,7,20 5,6,14 

Communications officer 7, 17, 40 6, 12, 24 

Composition 2, 7, 8 1, 6, 7 

Executive officer 9,33,35,249 7,23,248 

Headquarters section 52 32 

Heavy weapons company commander .... 7, 15 6, 12 

Intelligence officer (S-2) 11,52 8,32 

Liaison officers 23,124,143,161 16,90, 

118, 151 

Motor transport officer 7,14,47,124 6,11, 


Operations officer (S-3) 12,26 9,20 

Organization for combat 8 7 

Supply officer (S-4) 13,18,19,88,92 10,13, 

48, 52 

Surgeon 7, 19, 108, 187 6, 13, 

75, 172 

Battalion, Infantry, rifle: 

Composition and attachments 2 1 

Mission and role 1 1 

Beachheads 200-205 185-187 

Bivouacs 107-111 75-79 

Battalion as bivouac outpost 110 77 

Battalion operating alone Ill 79 

Battalion within regimental 

bivouac area 109 76 

Quartering party 108 75 


Approach march 115 83 

Attack 135 101 

Daylight withdrawal 243 243 

Defense 207,214 189,195 

Cannon company elements 22, 99, 100, 129, 136, 16, 61, 66, 

157,185,217,244,260 94,108, 
138, 171, 
200, 245, 


INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Chemical troops 100,101,136,157,185,245,247 66,67,108, 

138, 171, 
2 16, 247 

Commander, battalion: 

Actions after issuance 

of orders 27,142,143,151 21,117, 

118, 133 

Actions upon receipt of orders ....25,128,210,233 18,94, 

191, 231 

Characteristics 3 5 

Estimate of situation 25 18 

Exercise of command 3 5 

Plan, completion of 25 18 

Reconnaissance. (See Reconnaissance.) 
Relations with commanders of 

supporting units 6 6 

Relations with staff 4 5 

Relations with subordinates 5 6 

Responsibility 3,86,92,226 5,48, 

52, 225 

Troop leading 24-29 17-22 

Commanders of attached units 20 14 

Command post, battalion 37-45 24-27 

Approach march 124 90 

Attack 139,188 114,174 

Battalion commander operates from 27 21 

Daylight withdrawal 246 247 

Defense 233 231 

Definition 38 24 

Displacements 43 27 

Establishment 41 25 

Location 17,40 12,24 

Night withdrawal 249,254 248,252 

Operation 42 26 

Organization 39 24 

Security 45,133 27,100 

Command posts, company 44 27 


INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Communication platoon. (See Platoon, 

Communication, signal: 

Antitank platoon 66 39 

Approach march. (See Approach march.) 

Attack. (See Attack.) 

Beachheads 204 187 

Bivouac 109 76 

Daylight withdrawal 246 247 

Defense. (See Defense.) 

Delaying action 257 253 

Means 57 34 

Night attack 157 138 

Night withdrawal 254 252 

River crossing 188 174 

Supervision 12 9 

Company aid men. (See Medical section.) 

Company, heaquarters. (See Efeadquarters 

Company, heavy weapons (See also Anti- 
aircraft security) : 

Approach march 117,123,124 84,89,90 

Assembly area 129 94 

Attack 136, 142, 143, 147, 148 108, 117, 

118, 129, 

Commander 15 12 

Composition . — 2 1 

Daylight withdrawal 244,247 245,247 

Defense 216,219,220,228,234,235,237 198,203, 

207, 226, 
231, 232, 

Delaying action 257,258 253,258 

Night withdrawal 249,251 248,252 

Company, rifle: 

Approach march 117,123 84,89 


INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Attack 135,142,143,147,148 101,117, 

118, 129, 

Composition 2 1 

Daylight withdrawal 243 243 

Defense 215,216,219,220,223,234, 195,198, 

235, 237, 238 203, 207, 
213, 231, 
232, 237, 

257, 258 253, 258 

249, 252 248, 251 

2 1 

118, 123 85-89 

243, 244, 247, 249 243, 245, 

247, 248 




Delaying action _ 

257, 258 

253, 258 

Night withdrawal 

248, 249, 252, 253, 255 

248, 251, 

252, 253 



Airborne operations 



Ammunition supply 

92, 222, 226, 232 

52, 213, 

225, 231 

Artillery, supporting 



Assembly area 

210, 215, 229, 231 

191, 195, 

228, 230 


207, 214 

189, 195 

Camion company 



Communication, signal 

208, 219, 223, 238, 241 

190, 203, 

213., 238, 


Conduct of the defense 



Control of motor vehicles . 

222, 232 

213, 231. 

Delaying action 

Night withdrawal 

Composition of infantry battalion 
Covering force: 

Approach march 

Daylight withdrawal 


INDEX (Continued) 

ST QiTU/yTwpilM 


215, 224, 225, 229, 230, 

195, 218, 

235-237, 240 




Depth _ 

209, 215 

190, 195 

Distribution of elements 

212, 215, 216, 219, 220 

193, 195, 

198, 203, 


216, 217, 219, 225, 226, 241 

198, 200, 

203, 219, 

225, 241 

190, 195, 


Holding garrison 

207, 227 

189, 226 



207, 209, 214 



Main line of resistance 





Movement to battle position 210 


Night dispositions 





Organization of ground . 

220, 227 

207, 226 

Outpost, combat 

207, 216, 219,223,238 

189, 198, 

AAA tfH A 

203, 213, 






210, 211, 226 

191, 225 







207, 215, 216, 225, 241 

189, 195, 

198, 219, 




207, 223, 224, 238 

•t OQ Of O 
l0*9, lid, 



INDEX (Contlnned) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Tanks, use of 218,223,225 202,213, 


Towns 237 237 

Weapons, supporting 216,228,234 198,226, 


Wide front 234 231 

Woods 235 232 

Delaying action 256-261 253-260 

General 256 253 

Independent battalion 258 258 

One position 261 260 

Successive positions 257-260 253-259 

Engineers : 

Advance guard 99 61 

Attack 136,143 108,118 

Attack of fortified position 191 176 

Bivouac outpost 110 77 

Daylight withdrawal 228 226 

Defense 220 207 

Flank guard 100 66 

Night operations 104,155 70,135 

Rear guard 101 67 

River crossing 181-183 168-170 

Entrucking 105 71 

Evacuation 74-81,177,257 44-46, 

166, 253 

Extra ammunition 92 52 

Field artillery: 

Advance guard 99 61 

Approach march 122 88 

Attack 136,157,185 108,138, 


Battery forward observers 21,122 14,88 

Bivouac outpost - 110 ■ 77 

Daylight withdrawal 244,245,247 245,246, 


Defense 217,235,237,238 200,232, 

237, 238 


INDEX (Continued) 







Liaison officer 7,21,122,136,217 


108, 200 





Administrative matters 



114, 125 

82, 91 

Attack 140,156,158,160,176 


146, 151, 










Flank guard: 

100, 102 

66, 63 



Fortified position, attack of - 



18, 52 








Battalion headquarters section. 

(See also Battalion headquarters 



Commander. (See also Battalion head- 

quarters and staff.) 10,32,40,45,47,108 

8, 23, 24, 

27, 29, 75 



Company headquarters 











Second-in-command. (See also Battalion 

headquarters and staff, motor 

14, 47, 124 



INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Training 47-50 29-31 

Journal 26,32 20,23 

Jungle warfare 164-168,236 156-158, 


Liaison officers: 

Artillery. (See Field artillery.) 
Battalion. (See Battalion headquarters 
and staff.) 

Line of departure _ 133, 135, 14 - 2, 157 100,101, 

117, 138 

Maintenance, motor 14,47 11,29 

Maps 36 23 

Operation 12,25,26,28 9,18,20,22 

Situation 9, 11, 12, 33, 52 7, 8, 9, 

23, 32 

Marches 96-105 60-71 

Day 97-103 60-70 

Advance guard 99 61 

Battalion inarching alone 102 69 

Disposition, headquarters company 49 31 

Flank guard 100 66 

Main body 98 60 

Rear guard 101 67 

Motor 105 71 

Night 104 70 

Medical section 74-81 - 44-46 

Aid station group 80 46 

Commander 19,108 13,75 

Company aid men 78 44 

Composition 75 44 

Duties of commissioned personnel 77 44 

Evacuation 74-81,177,257 44-46, 

166, 253 

Expedients in theater of operations .... 81 46 

Litter squad _ 79 46 

Mission 76 14 

Operations 2 1 

References 74 44 


INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Motor transport. (See Trains, and Transport.) 

Battlefield recovery 95 58 

Destruction of vehicles 95 58 

Motor inarch 105 71 

Movements, rail 106 74 

Movements, troop. (See Marches.) 

Observation post, battalion 11,26,52 8,20,32 

Offensive operations. (See Attack.) 
Operations officer. (See Battalion head- 
quarters and staff.) 
Orders. (See Field Orders.) 

Assembly area 129 94 

Bivouac 110,111 77,79 

Combat 207,216,219,223,238 189,198, 

203, 213, 

Delaying action 257 253 

General 223,255 213,253 

Overlays :.. 36 23 

Phase lines 116,243,244 83,243, 


Platoon, ammunition and pioneer 58-61 36-38 

Commander 18 13 

Composition 59 36 

Duties of personnel 61 38 

Functions 60,101,104,117,157 36,67,70, 

84, 138 

Operation 60 36 

References 58 36 

Platoon, antitank. (See also Anti- 
mechanized defense.) 62-68 38-40 

Ammunition supply 68 40 

Antimechanized warning service 70 41 

Approach march 117,119 84,87 

Attack 135,142,143 101,117, 



INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Platoon, antitank — Continued. 

Bivouac outpost 110,111 77,79 

Commander 16 12 

Communication 66 39 

Composition 63 38 

Coordination with other units 67 39 

Daylight withdrawal 244 245 

Defense 216,219,231 198,203, 


Delaying action 257 253 

Leader 16 12 

Missions 64 38 

Night withdrawal 249 248 

Readiness for action 65 39 

Platoon, communication. (See also 

Communication, signal.) 53-57 32-34 

Approach march 117 84 

Attack 139 114 

Commander 17 12 

Defense 208 190 

Message center section 54 33 

Operation 53-57 32-34 

Radio and visual section 56 34 

Training _ - 53 32 

Wire section 55 34 

Platoon, intelligence and reconnaissance, 

Advance guard 99 61 

Bivouac outpost 110 77 

Daylight withdrawal _ 247 247 

Rear guard 99 61 

Pursuit. (See Attack.) 

Quartering party 108,128 75.94 

Raids 195-199 1 79-184 

Rail movements 106 74 

Rear guard: 

Daylight withdrawal 247 247 

Day march 101,102 67,69 


INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Delaying action 257 253 

Night march 104 70 

Reconnaissance 24 17 

Approach march. (See Approach march.) 
Assembly area. (See Assembly areas.) 
Attack. (See Attack.) 

Daylight withdrawal 244 245 

Defense. (See Defense.) 

Delaying action 257 257 

Night withdrawal 250 250 

Records, staff 31 22 

Reserve battalion 149-154,227-233 132-134, 


Reserve, use of: 

Advance guard 99 61 

Attack. (See Attack.) 

Bivouac outpost 110,111 77,79 

Daylight withdrawal. (See Withdrawal.) 
Defense. (See Defense.) 

Delaying action 257 253 

Pursuit 148 130 

Retrograde movements 242-261 243-260 

Ammunition supply 92,257 52,253 

Rolls, Individual 94,147 57,129 

SOP. (See Standing operating procedure.) 


Antiaircraft. (See Antiaircraft security.) 
Antimechanized. (See Antimechanized 

Approach march 119 87 

Assembly area 129 94 

Attack. (See Attack.) 

Command post i 45,135 27,101 

Defense. (See Defense.) 

Delaying action 257,258 253,258 

Motorized elements: 

Advance guard 99 61 

Ammunition supply 92 52 


INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Rear guard 101,102 67,69 

Night withdrawal 253,255 252,253 

Reserve battalion 151 133 

Signal communication. (See Communication.) 

Sketches 36 23 

Staff notes 34 23 

Standing operating procedure 26,29 20,22 

Supply 85-95,177,257 47-58, 

166, 253 

Ammunition. (See Supply, Class V.) 

Class I (rations and water) 88 48 

Class II (clothing and equipment) 89 51 

Class III (gasoline and lubricants) .... 90 51 

Class IV (fortifications materials) .... 91 52 

Class V (ammunition and pyrotechnics) 60,68,92, 36,40,52, 
138, 150, 157, 187, 222, 226 113, 132, 

138, 171, 
213, 225 

Expedients 95 58 

Means 87 48 

Plan 13,88,92 10,48,52 

Rations. (See Supply, Class I.) 

Responsibility 84 47 

Tank support 57,99,100,137,142,143,145, 34,61,66, 

168, 201, 218, 223, 225, 230, 240, 244, 257 112, 117, 

118, 127, 
158, 185, 
202, 213, 
219, 228, 
240. 245, 

Security against. (See Antimechanized 

Towns, combat in _ 169-172 158-162 


Headquarters Company 50 31 

March „ 101 67 


INDEX (Continued) 

Trains, battalion 

Ammunition supply 







109, 110 

2, 82 

.13, 14, 120, 222, 252 

Disposition on march 98, 99 

Duties of personnel : 84 

Mission 83 

Transport, company: 

Ammunition supply 68, 92 

Bivouac 109,110 

Components 2 

Control 14, 92, 120, 124-126, 222, 232, 

241, 252, 257 

Disposition on march 98, 99, 101 

Troop leading _ 24 

Unit reports 35 

Warning service and signal 70 

Weapon carriers. (See Transport.) 

Withdrawal 243-255 

Daylight 243-247 

Communication, signal 246 

Conduct 245 

Covering force 247 

General 243 

Orders 244 

Plans 244 

Reserve, use of 243,244,247 

Night 248-255 

Communication, signal 249,254 

Covering force 249,255 

Execution 252 

General - 248 

1, 47 
10, 11, 88, 
213, 251 
60, 61 

40, 52 

11, 52, 88, 
213, 231, 
241, 251, 
60, 61,67 

243, 245, 
248, 252 
248, 253 


INDEX (Continued) 

Paragraphs Pages 

Orders 251 250 

Reconnaissance 250 250 

Security 253,255 252,253 

Woods 160-163,235 151-155,